Gov. Doug Burgum today thanked North Dakota Chief Information Officer (CIO) Shawn Riley for his transformational leadership and service over the past nearly six years after Riley resigned his position effective Dec. 2 to join the private sector.
Burgum has appointed Deputy CIO Greg Hoffman to serve as interim CIO and lead the North Dakota Information Technology (NDIT) department while a search is conducted to fill the CIO position. Hoffman has served with NDIT since 2005 and has led its Administrative Services Division since 2014. He was appointed deputy CIO last April.
Burgum appointed Riley as CIO in March 2017. Riley had previously served in IT leadership positions for 17 years, including as section head of information technology for Mayo Clinic and as CIO and chief technology officer within the Mayo Clinic Health System.
“Shawn embodies the term ‘transformational leader,’ and the positive impacts of his leadership on innovation, technology and cybersecurity will be felt in NDIT and across our state for years to come,” Burgum said. “We are deeply grateful for his service to the State of North Dakota.”
In his resignation letter, Riley stated that it’s been an honor to serve the state for nearly six years, and he credited team members for their efforts and accomplishments in advancing technology in government.
“The state of North Dakota is now the undisputed national leader in Cyber Security,” Riley stated in his letter, adding the state’s initiatives have changed the education of future generations and dramatically changed the ability of state government to safely and effectively serve its citizens.
During Riley’s tenure, North Dakota became the first state to authorize a central, shared service approach to cybersecurity across all aspects of state government, protecting a statewide network that has roughly 252,000 daily users across over 400 entities. State government alone defended itself against an average of 4.5 billion attacks per day last year, including K-12, higher education, and all those touching the state network. North Dakota also became the founding member of the Joint Cybersecurity Operations Command Center, which is now part of the cyber defense for more than 60 million Americans and was the first center of its kind in the nation for direct state-to-state sharing of cyberthreat intelligence.
Riley also was instrumental in the development of the PK-20W Initiative, an award-winning, statewide approach to computer science and cybersecurity education and workforce training that involves more than 40 public and private sector organizations. In addition, North Dakota became the first state to enable a high school state championship for a cyber competition, Cyber Madness, which now has also been expanded for middle school.
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, within 48 hours after the governor declared a state of emergency, under Riley’s leadership, NDIT enabled roughly 7,000 state team members to work remotely to support agencies’ ability to serve citizens, accomplishing in weeks or months what would have typically taken years.
Riley will be joining Bitzero International as the new CEO of American operations.
The CIO position will be posted Friday.