• Priorities Podcast

Rhode Island CIO focuses on digital transformation, cyber

On the Priorities podcast, the new chief information officer of Rhode Island — Brian Tardiff — says he’ll continue the work of his predecessor and keep a focus on cybersecurity after his previous role as the state’s chief information security officer.

Tardiff replaces Bijay Kumar, who left the state last fall.

“I think that background, or having that IT security background definitely helps me in my new role, [especially by] looking at things from a risk perspective,” Tardiff says.

He says Rhode Island will also continue to upgrade its IT portfolio, with the goals of making it easier to do business with the state and empowering state leaders to make more-effective decisions through the use of data.

In the news this week:

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon is allowing a bill to create the first state-developed stablecoin to pass without his signature. In a letter to the secretary of state, he tallies his misgivings with the legislation, noting that greater emphasis was placed on the digital currency’s potential, rather than the details of how to make it succeed. But he’ll sit on the new commission created by the bill to help the legislature. “Innovation does not always wait for the perfect, rather it emerges, is refined, and eventually becomes established,” he writes.

Grace Simrall, chief of civic innovation and technology of Louisville, Kentucky, is stepping down after more than six years in the role. In a LinkedIn post she writes of her pride with how cities have embraced civic innovation to solve challenges. She also celebrates the city recently winning a Department of Transportation grant and reflects on her office’s work on broadband expansion, codifying the city’s open data ordinance and developing an artificial intelligence strategy.

The cryptocurrency exchange OKcoin has suspended trading of the two city-based digital currencies operated by CityCoins — MiamiCoin and NYCCoin. The exchange says they’re suspended because of their recent period of limited liquidity, which can open the tokens to fraud. The company says the suspension is temporary and that trading will resume after it addresses the potential risks.

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Priorities Podcast


Each week, the Priorities Podcast will take you through the latest in state and local government technology news and analysis. The program will explore trending stories throughout the week, as well as feature conversations with top executives across government and industry on things like modernization, emerging technology and digital services.

Hosted by Jake Williams

Jake Williams is the vice president of content and community for StateScoop and EdScoop. He's spent nearly a decade in the government IT market, covering the ins and outs of state and local government, as well as higher education. He started his journalism career in his native Pennsylvania and has also worked as a reporter for Campaigns & Elections magazine.