Agarwal tapped to lead California's new tech department

P.K. Agarwal, a former long-time California state government technology official who has worked in the private sector for the last five years, has been tapped by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to lead the state’s new technology services department.

The department is expected to improve information technology and telecommunications services and eliminate redundant services. State leaders created the department this summer on the recommendation of a bipartisan commission.

“P.K.'s understanding of California's [IT] systems and experience in state government, combined with his expertise in state and local government technology infrastructure, provide him with a fantastic foundation to lead this new department and its unique challenges,” Schwarzenegger said in a statement.

Agarwal had been vice president of Affiliated Computer Services since 2003. Before that, he was executive vice president and chief information officer at NIC.

For nearly 20 years before that, he was a mainstay in California government. From 1996 to 2000, he served as CIO for the Franchise Tax Board after serving about 12 years as chief of the Office of Information Services in the Department of General Services. He was also manager of the Database Development Bureau for the Department of Social Services and technical project manager for the Department of Health Services.

Throughout his career, Agarwal has been active in the IT community, serving as president of the National Association of State CIOs and president of the National Electronic Commerce Coordinating Council.

Agarwal must be confirmed by the state Senate.

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