Shawn Riley became North Dakota’s Chief Information Officer in April 2017 after serving in IT leadership roles in healthcare and private industry for two decades. Throughout his career he has overseen significant change management efforts and demonstrated the ability to transform processes and make a positive impact for customers and business partners through innovative technology approaches.

Shawn’s experience includes consulting at IBM and other Fortune 500 companies nationally and internationally on network, system security and compliance, training, e-health, and e-business projects. From 2004 to 2017, he served in various leadership positions at Mayo Clinic. During his tenure he helped bring together disparate IT arms into a unified organization, ultimately serving as a regional Chief Information and Chief Technology Officer. 

In his role as CIO, Shawn’s emphasis is on working as one across Team ND to help Empower People, Improve Lives and Inspire Success. This includes working with 17 executive branch Cabinet agencies to unify IT teams and provide a singular direction, strategy and cybersecurity approach on behalf of the citizens of North Dakota.

Shawn’s team is also working closely with organizations statewide to lead the nation in cybersecurity education and training. The “K-20W Initiative” involves 40 public and private sector entities helping empower North Dakota’s workforce, educators and students from kindergarten through PhD with a goal of “Every Student, Every Class, Cyber Educated.” Through partnership with industry leaders and a whole-of-government approach, the state is creating the foundation to train the next generation of cyber security professionals and provide valuable training for any career path in a 21st century economy being driven by rapid technological change.

A native of Lanesboro, Minn., Riley earned a bachelor’s degree in information technology administration from American InterContinental University and a master’s degree in business administration from Salt Lake City-based Western Governors University.

Shawn and his wife, Michelle, have three children. In his off hours, Shawn enjoys being a history interpreter and competitive marksman. You may find him out in full costume as a colonial soldier telling the stories of the American Revolution.