Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said the state is getting ready to undertake a modernization overhaul of the Maryland Department of Information Technology (MDIT) and is creating new senior leadership roles to help reach that goal.

In a press release, Gov. Moore announced a series of actions to rebuild state government and modernize operations within the MDIT. As part of that effort, Gov. Moore said Maryland will hire its first-ever chief technology officer, first-ever chief digital experience officer, first-ever AI advisor, and first-ever director of accessibility, with the ultimate goal of improving core services.

“The Moore-Miller administration is committed to providing reliable, secure, and accessible IT infrastructure for all Marylanders,” said Gov. Moore. “We are moving quickly, not only to modernize operations, but to bring Maryland to the forefront of cutting-edge and emergent technology in better service of our state.”

Under the leadership of Department of Information Technology Secretary Katie Savage, the department’s new positions will help meet the state’s evolving needs concerning IT, AI, cybersecurity, and accessibility. The state announced both the new hires and their key job responsibilities:

  • Senior Advisor for Responsible Artificial Intelligence Nishant Shah will oversee Maryland’s AI strategy, including the development of ethical guidelines, business pilots, and coordination with Federal leadership.
  • Chief Technology Officer Michele Thomas will work with other state IT leaders to improve agency IT experience by implementing core enterprise services throughout the executive branch.
  • State Chief Information Security Officer Greg Rogers will lead the Office of Security Management in the direction, coordination, and implementation of the overall cybersecurity strategy and policy for units of state government that will help the state defend against cyberattacks and prepare, respond, and recover from cyber disruptions.
  • Chief Digital Experience Officer Marcy Jacobs will oversee the newly-created Office of Digital Experience, which will focus on improving the usability and accessibility of all digital and information technology platforms in the state.
  • Director of Accessibility Andrew Drummond will ensure that all state technology products meet non-visual accessibility compliance standards, including new IT procurements, in partnership with the Maryland Department of Disabilities.

“We have assembled a team that will bring the department up to speed and into the future. The exponential growth of AI technologies and the positive influence they have on virtually every aspect of life – from work to health to economics, and beyond – cannot be understated,” said Savage. “The department’s new digital experience team will also promote user-centered design across platforms and products to ensure ease of use for all Marylanders who interact with state government and make technology accessible for all. It is a new day for IT in Maryland.”

The governor’s office said the new team will help the department “balance the opportunities that innovative and emergent technologies provide,” as well as manage associated risks, minimize undesirable or inequitable outcomes, and protect the civil rights of Maryland’s citizenry. The department will be tasked with ensuring that the state’s cybersecurity strategy and policies are in alignment with best practices and the latest Federal standards and guidelines.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs