PROVIDENCE – After a three-month national search, Woonsocket native Thom Guertin has been selected as Rhode Island’s first chief digital officer, Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee announced Wednesday.
Guertin, who currently works for The Boston Globe, will begin his role on October 22.
The search for a chief digital officer commenced as part of the Office of Digital Excellence, an initiative created by the General Assembly as part of the fiscal year 2013 appropriations bill.
The Office of Digital Excellence, which will be housed within the Department of Administration, is charged with moving Rhode Island’s state government into the 21st century.
The office is designed to incorporate modern digital capabilities and leverage technology in order to expand and improve the services available to Rhode Island citizens.
“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,” said Chafee in prepared remarks. “Technology is key to moving state government forward to provide the best services possible for our citizens.”
According to a release from the governor’s office, key focuses of the Office of Digital Excellence will include: major technology capital upgrades, e-government and e-licensing initiatives, website design, and social media and mobile technology strategy for state agencies.
Guertin and the Office of Digital Excellence will work with the Department of Technology’s Chief Information Officer John Landers to increase the number of government services that can be provided online.
Guertin, who was chosen from more than 60 candidates, has more than 20 years of experience as a senior information technology executive. He has served as executive director for business technology solutions at the Boston Globe and The New York Times since 2003.
“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,” said Guertin in a statement. “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.”