Eight months after taking office, and nearly six months after a ransomware attack crippled her government’s computer systems, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has appointed a permanent chief information officer.
Gary Brantley, currently the CIO for the school system in suburban DeKalb County, will take over the city’s information technology starting Oct. 8, Bottoms’ office announced Friday.
“Managing the City’s technology infrastructure effectively is not only critical to our ability to deliver quality customer service to residents and businesses but, as we learned first hand earlier this year, to our ability to run an efficient government,” Bottoms said in a press release.
Brantley will take over for Daphne Rackley, who became interim CIO in January following the departure of Samir Saini, who is now the top IT official for New York City. In announcing Brantley’s hire, Bottoms thanked Rackley for overseeing the city’s recovery of the March 22 ransomware attack , which affected more than one-third of the nearly 400 computer programs and networks that run municipal operations.
In June, Rackely told the City Council that while Atlanta had already paid out $5 million in emergency contracts to repair the damage caused by the ransomware, known as SamSam, she requested another $9.5 million for continued recovery efforts over the following year.
Along with overseeing the continued recovery from the ransomware attack, Brantley will be responsible for managing the systems the city’s 8,000 employees use to deliver services to its nearly 475,000 residents.
As the CIO for DeKalb schools since 2011, Brantley has developed technology solutions for an education system with 15,500 employees serving 102,000 students. During his time in that job, Brantley’s implemented a new enterprise resource planning system and developed multi-year plans to put more technology in classrooms. In August 2017, he announced a $27 million plan to distribute 70,000 computers to teachers and students throughout the district.
Those initiatives have won Brantley praise in the wider IT community. He was included in Computerworld’s 2017 list of the top 100 technology leaders, and was honored in July by the International Society for Technology in Education for expanding students’ access to digital learning.
Before the DeKalb County School District, Brantley served for four years as the CIO of the school system in Loraine, Ohio and four years prior to that as an IT director for the Ohio state government.