Ed Toner will retire from his position as Nebraska’s chief information officer next month after serving in the position for eight years, Gov. Jim Pillen’s office announced Friday.
During his tenure, Toner consolidated and modernized the state’s IT systems, including upgrading Nebraska’s “very last legacy system.” And while state IT workforces in other states have struggled to attract and retain talent, Toner’s claimed that his office’s partnerships with local colleges allowed Nebraska to maintain healthy staffing levels and attract the next generation of professionals in the public sector.
Toner was first appointed to the position of CIO in 2015 by former Gov. Pete Ricketts, a Republican, and was reappointed by Gov. Jim Pillen, also a Republican, in 2022. At the time, Pillen said he reappointed Toner due to their shared vision of “running government like a business.”
“All of us from the business world understand the importance of technology for our future,” Pillen said in a release from 2022. “We have to make sure government makes significant technological advances in the next year so that we can be innovative and create more value for the Nebraska taxpayers.”
Pillen thanked Toner in a press release for his years of service and wished him well in future endeavors.
One of Toner’s first projects as CIO in Nebraska was to consolidate the state’s data centers, a project that’s saved the state $30 million since 2017. The impacts of that project lasted into the pandemic as the consolidation of state IT resources helped simplify the transition of workspaces from offices to employees’ homes.
Before becoming Nebraska’s top technology official, Toner worked for the investment firm TD Ameritrade for a decade and spent five years with the credit-card transaction company First Data Corporation. Those experiences led him to make high service availability a priority in his role in the public sector.
“If your infrastructure or your applications aren’t available to the public, then we just can’t do business, especially nowadays,” Toner said in an interview with StateScoop last year. “If availability’s not your No. 1, it should be.”
Toner is also one of the few state CIOs who regularly publishes his agency’s performance measures.
Mark Neemann, whom the governor’s press release called “a deputy” from the CIO office, will serve as the state’s interim CIO until Pillen appoints a new leader. Executive search firm Ford Webb Associates is immediately launching a national search for the state’s next CIO, according to the release.