Minn. governor names new state CIO

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton announced that the Chief Operating Officer for Information Technology Services for the Minnesota System of Colleges and Universities (MnSCU), Carolyn Parnell, will be the states new Chief Information Officer. In her capacity atop the Office of Enterprise Technology (OET), Ms. Parnell will guide the state’s IT strategy and manage internal and external IT governance, including ongoing consolidation efforts and unifying the state’s IT architecture.

Ms. Parnell has a long history working in and leading technology organizations like MnSCU, the governor said, in choosing his state CIO. She was Director of Information Technology at MN Public Radio/American Public Media, Director of Networks and Data Centers at Fidelity National Information Systems and the Director of Networking and Telecommunications Services at the University of Minnesota before joining MnSCU.

“I believe that OET is very much about the delivery and use of technology to keep citizens informed and to promote efficiencies in government business,” Ms. Parnell said. “Fundamentally it is about better connecting people to each other and to their government.”

Ms. Parnell succeeds Gopal Khanna as state CIO who stepped down in December. Under Khanna’s guidance, Minnesota was one of the first states to move its communication and collaboration services to a cloud platform. In an interview, Mr. Khanna said the state’s 33,000 executive branch employees will be the first users of the hosted suite. There may also be an opportunity to extend the tools beyond those working in Saint Paul.

“This decision puts us in a unique position to provide these services not just to the executive branch, but also to the judicial branch, the legislative branch and officials in county or city government,” he said.