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Governor Chafee Announces Selection of Rhode Island's First Chief Digital Officer

Providence, RI - Governor Lincoln D. Chafee announced today the selection of the Rhode Island's first Chief Digital Officer (CDO). After a three-month national search, the candidate selected for the position is Thom Guertin, a Woonsocket native currently working for The Boston Globe. Mr. Guertin's role as CDO will be to launch the Office of Digital Excellence (ODE), an initiative created by the General Assembly as part of the FY13 Appropriations Bill. The purpose of the ODE, which will be housed within the Department of Administration (DOA), is to move Rhode Island state government into the 21st century through the incorporation of modern digital capabilities and to leverage technology to expand and improve the quality of services provided to Rhode Island citizens. Key focus areas for ODE will be major technology capital upgrades, e-government and e-licensing initiatives, website design, and social media/mobile technology strategy for state agencies. Mr. Guertin will work in partnership with the Department of Information Technology's Chief Information Officer John Landers to increase the number of government services that can be provided online in order to allow residents and businesses to complete transactions in a more efficient and transparent manner. With over 20 years of experience as a Senior Information Technology executive, Thom Guertin has managed large scale enterprise applications, eBusiness, eCommerce, and change management initiatives for leading worldwide brands. Mr. Guertin currently serves as Executive Director for Business Technology Solutions at The Boston Globe and New York Times, where he has been since 2003. From 1997 to 2003, he served as Senior eBusiness Manager and Senior Interactive Marketing Manager for the Acushnet Company. Prior to that, he served as one of the first five employees at Mr. Guertin received his B.A. from the University of Rhode Island and a Corporate Finance certificate from Bryant College. Governor Chafee said, "I am very pleased that Thom Guertin has accepted the position of Chief Digital Officer. I am committed to finding new ways to continuously improve government so that we can best serve the people of Rhode Island. Technology is key to moving state government forward to provide the best services possible for our citizens." Richard Licht, Director of Administration, added, "I am very excited about Thom coming on board to launch the Office of Digital Excellence. Thom has a proven track record of moving organizations, including a paper-based company steeped in tradition, into the digital era. I look forward to working with Thom to support the Governor's vision of creating an even more efficient, effective, and innovative approach to government." Thom Guertin, the incoming Chief Digital Officer, stated, "I am very grateful for this opportunity to serve the state of Rhode Island. As a native Rhode Islander, I am deeply committed to finding innovative ways to best support our state. We have so many talented individuals in the technology and digital space in Rhode Island, and I intend to work together with and showcase our successful digital entrepreneurs in this position." Governor Chafee added, "I want to thank the General Assembly for creating this position and supporting the vision for the Office of Digital Excellence. I look forward to collaboratively working together with ODE, the Division of Information Technology, and the Department of Administration to find ways to incorporate technological solutions that will help us better support Rhode Island small businesses and serve Rhode Island citizens." Over 60 candidates applied for the position. An eight-member Review Team comprised of government officials and private sector technology representatives supported the search effort. Mr. Guertin will start his position on October 22nd.

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