2020 StateScoop 50 Awards honor top leaders, projects in state IT

Now in their seventh year, the StateScoop 50 Awards honor the people and projects across the state IT community who are making a difference in government.

Scoop News Group, StateScoop’s parent company, announced on Thursday the winners of the 2020 StateScoop 50 Awards.

Presented for its seventh year, the StateScoop 50 awards honor the projects and people driving state government technology and cybersecurity. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the awards were presented virtually for the first time. In previous years, the awards ceremony and announcement coincided with the midyear conference of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers. Both the midyear and annual conference were moved to a virtual format this year.

Starting in February, members of the state and local IT community nominated thousands of leaders and projects for the awards. From there, StateScoop narrowed the list to the 182 finalists who received the most nominations. Between March and June 2020, readers cast more than 2 million votes nationally between March and April to select the final winners. Executive-level winners were honored Thursday at a virtual roundtable event, sponsored by Google Cloud and Duo Security, now part of Cisco Systems.

“It’s an honor and delight to recognize the top 50 leaders in our community,” said Goldy Kamali, founder and CEO of Scoop News Group, StateScoop’s parent company. “Each of the leaders recognized has gone above and beyond for our community this year, in spite of unprecedented challenges at home and at work. These reader’s choice awards honor the best leaders from across the state government community, and acknowledge the important work they are doing to make government better each and every day.”

The winners span more than a dozen states and eight private sector companies. Award winners for 2020 include executive-level elected officials like Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, as well as more junior up-and-coming leaders.

“We know that the work you do is about much more than servers and firewalls,” said Jake Williams, StateScoop’s associate publisher and director of strategic initiatives. “It’s about getting people what they need, serving the community and being a beacon of hope in times that force us to rework everything we know about how government connects to the citizen. Though this year’s StateScoop 50 Awards honor projects and people from a pre-COVID-19 time, we quickly saw the the impact of them as you all responded to the pandemic. Even more than in past years, we are endlessly thankful to be a part of this community.”

As part of the virtual announcement, winners will be featured in a series of podcasts. The first episode will highlight the winners of the GoldenGov: State Executive of the Year category. Winners will also be featured in a video interview, and are highlighted in the edited versions of their nomination biographies below.

The winners: