Former Arkansas CTO Yessica Jones joins Microsoft

Yessica Jones (Scoop News Group)


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Yessica Jones, who stepped down last month as Arkansas’ top technology official, announced last weekend that she’s joining Microsoft as the national delivery manager for the tech giant’s state, local and government consulting business.

Jones, who spent five years with the Arkansas state government, and the last three-and-a-half as chief technology officer and the director of the Division of Information Systems, announced her move on LinkedIn, nearly a month after leaving public service on Nov. 24.

During her time with Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s administration, Jones oversaw new governance for the state’s data management, a data center consolidation, a migration to Microsoft 365 productivity software and the development of cybersecurity training programs for state workers. Her last few months as CTO were consumed largely by managing the IT components of Arkansas’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which pressured the state to accelerate its cloud migration and modernization processes, she said earlier this year on StateScoop’s Priorities podcast.

In going to Microsoft, Jones follows former Delaware Chief Information Officer James Collins, who stepped down from government service in September to take a role as general manager of Microsoft’s state, local and education consulting practice.

“We very much look forward to adding Yessica’s proven leadership and experience as we endeavor to strengthen our position as a trusted partner for SLGE,” Collins wrote in a LinkedIn post of his own.

Before joining the state government in 2015, initially as an adviser to Hutchinson, Jones last worked in the private sector for about a decade as a solutions developer with data connectivity software firm Acxiom, which is based in Little Rock. Earlier this month, Hutchinson appointed another Acxiom executive, Jonathan Askins, as the state’s new CTO.

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Arkansas, Microsoft, Yessica Jones