State officials honored for innovation in government technology

State government officials from Hawaii, Alabama and Michigan will receive the first-ever State Technology Innovator Award as voted on by members and non-members of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers. Both elected and non-elected officials were honored for their contributions to their states’ technology policy agenda, the trade group said yesterday.

The Vice President of Geospatial Technologies at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Alabama will be one of three inaugural recipients of the State Technology Innovator Award. Chris Johnson developed and led the implementation for Virtual Alabama, which provides situational awareness to first responders, environmental and transportation officials, military staff and others. Virtual Alabama uses Google Enterprise Earth to allow more than 6,500 government officials in every Alabama County, encompassing 1,450 various agencies, to do their jobs more effectively and efficiently. A DHS-led program called Virtual USA has since been created by Secretary Janet Napolitano.

Michigan’s Director of the Center for Shared Solutions and Technology Partnerships, Eric Swanson, will also be honored during a ceremony at the NASCIO annual conference later this month. Mr. Swanson played a critical role in establishing an enterprise-level information management approach, coordinating and consolidating business intelligence, data transport, query reporting and related tools as well as addressing quality assurance.

“Eric Swanson is an innovator who is helping us leverage technology to make state services less costly and easier for people to access,” Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm said of Swanson in support of his nomination.

Lastly, Senator David Ige, of the Hawaii State Senate, will be honored for his 25 years of service promoting IT solutions and for advancing the Senate’s paperless system.