California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that state CIO Amy Tong has been appointed Director at the California Office of Digital Innovation.

Tong had been appointed by Newsom’s predecessor, Jerry Brown, as director of the California Department of Technology (CDT) and state CIO in 2016, and had been the longest serving California CIO, and one of the longest serving state CIOs in the country.

She has nearly a quarter century of years of business, technology, and management experience in the public sector. Tong is the fifth state CIO for California since the position was established in 1995.

Russ Nichols is the current Deputy State CIO and CDT Chief Deputy Director. Prior to that he was CIO at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. While not official, once Tong moves on to ODI on January 1, 2022 Nichols may become acting CIO.

The Office of Digital Innovation (ODI), like CDT, is organized within the Government Operations Agency, and includes 41 full-time employees (FTE) and a budget of $21 million. according to the Department of Finance’s current 2021-2022 State Budget. ODI would appear to be much smaller than Tong’s CDT which has almost 900 FTE’s and a $3.8 billion budget.

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John Thomas Flynn
John Thomas Flynn
John Thomas Flynn serves as a senior advisor for government programs at MeriTalk. He was the first CIO for the both the State of California and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and was president of NASCIO.