Colorado CIO leaving for private sector


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Kristin Russell is stepping down as Colorado’s secretary of technology to take a leadership position in Deloitte’s new government cloud computing practice.

Russell will officially leave state government May 9 for her new position, the latest in a number of executive changes in Colorado’s Governor’s Office of Information Technology.

“To effectively provide the services we do, to be successful, that means we must move at the speed of technology,” said Gov. John Hickenlooper, in a statement about Russell’s departure. “She has put us in a position where we are doing that, and what’s more, she has created an enduring foundation for us to continue to do so moving forward.”

Russell had a decorated private sector career before joining Hickenlooper’s administration in February 2011. She served as the vice president of global IT service operations at Oracle and was responsible for all data centers and computing operations worldwide.

Russell held various leadership positions at Sun Microsystems Inc., including serving as vice president of IT operations. She has held roles in customer management, statistical process control analysis and employee training and development while at Citigroup and Southern Pacific Transportation Lines.

One of Russell’s biggest accomplishments was moving Colorado to Google Apps for Government, one of the first states in the country to make the migration. Under her watch, the state also upgraded its benefits management system, started a marketplace of public information data and began project to modernize the state’s accounting computer systems.

Russell’s departure comes just a few months after Sherri Hammonds, Colorado’s chief technology officer, also left for the private sector. Hammonds was replaced by Suma Nallapati, who credited Russell’s energy and enthusiasm, along with her ability to run a public sector entity like a private sector business, as part of her motivation for joining the state.

According to Hickenlooper, the state has already begun its search for Russell’s replacement.

This past fall, Russell did an interview with StateScoopTV where she discussed a number of projects the state was working on along with some of the trends she is seeing in state government.

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