UPDATED: North Dakota gets new CIO

Editor's Note: This story was updated at 5:15 p.m. April 10, 2006, with additional information.

Lisa Feldner, who has been technology director for the Bismarck Public Schools for the past 15 years, was appointed North Dakota’s chief information officer by Gov. John Hoeven last week.

She replaces Curt Wolfe, who retired at the end of last year. Mike Ressler has been serving as interim CIO until Feldner's appointment.

In the public school system, Feldner managed the development, design and integration of software and hardware systems for more than 13,000 users across 26 campuses, according to a release the governor’s office published.

She is the recipient of numerous technology awards and serves on several boards and commissions in the state, including the Educational Technology Council and the Association of Technology Leaders.

Feldner, who will start her new post May 8, also serves on the technical committee of the North Dakota Statewide Technology Access for Government and Education network (STAGEnet), which provides statewide high-speed connectivity.

“Lisa is committed to advancing North Dakota's comprehensive technology plan,” Hoeven said in a prepared statement. “We have laid a strong foundation with STAGEnet, which links schools and state government in an integrated voice, data and video network, and now Lisa will bring to the job the skills necessary to take the state to the next level of development.”

In Illinois, Jim Matthews, who has been CIO for the past three years, is leaving his position at the end of this week to return to the private sector. Rafael Diaz will take over as acting CIO until a permanent replacement is named, said Geoff Potter, a spokesman at the state’s Department of Central Management Services. He said Matthews has helped significantly upgrade the state’s IT and telecommunications capabilities and improve efficiency by consolidating efforts across agencies.

“We appreciate what he’s done here,” Potter said. “And he helped us really complete the consolidation of telecom and IT from the former structure where those duties were scattered around state government into one organization, which is [the Bureau of Communications and Computer Services], that has actually doubled in size in the past three years.”

In other state government news, Steve Dawson, who was CIO and chief technology officer for New Jersey since 2002, resigned in mid-March. Adel Ebeid, an 18-year state employee who served as a deputy in the Office of Information Technology, has replaced him on an interim basis.

According to the Newark Star-Ledger, state lawmakers criticized Dawson’s management of the IT office and oversight of state operations, including $500 million the state spends on computers annually. Dawson could not give an exact figure, but he said there was a significant waste of money. Consequently, Gov. Jon Corzine ordered a review of the spending, according to the newspaper.


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