Suma Nallapati will be Colorado’s next secretary of technology and chief information officer, Gov. John Hickenlooper announced Wednesday.
Nallapati joined the Colorado Governor’s Office of Information Technology in February as chief technology officer, after spending the first 17 years of her career in the private sector.
“Suma is exactly the kind of person the state needs,” Hickenlooper said. “She is passionate about the potential of technology to transform everything a state does for its residents, and she recognizes that cost matters. We are grateful she has chosen public service.”
Nallapati will replace Kristin Russell, who resigned earlier this month to become an executive in Deloitte’s new government cloud computing practice and developed a reputation for bringing innovative private-sector practices into state government.
As secretary of technology, Nallapati will oversee the operation and delivery of information technology services and innovation across all executive branch agencies in state government. She will also lead the state’s IT economic development efforts and work with the Office of Economic Development and International Trade to promote Colorado as the ideal location for IT companies and technology- workers.
“Technology is rapidly changing and there are growing ways to make delivery of information faster, more customer -friendly and more secure,” Nallapati said. “At the same time, Colorado is poised to become an even greater hub of technology innovation as companies continue to tap the state’s talented workforce.”
Nallapati earlier worked at Catholic Health Initiatives, one of the nation’s largest healthcare networks, where she led service delivery operations for a complex, multi-state, rapidly-growing healthcare IT footprint leading distributed teams that included data center and network operations, service desk and end-user computing.
Previously, Nallapati worked at TeleTech, where she served as the global director of enterprise applications to deploy complex enterprise resource planning, self–service business applications and related systems in a governed, best practices framework across 19 countries and helped with the transformation of the technology organization to a true service provider model.
In an interview with StateScoop earlier this year, Nallapati said she was drawn to public service after watching her father’s 40-year career working for the banking sector of government in her native India.
“I remember him feeling this great sense of accomplishment,” Nallapati said in February. “We could come home and just be extremely happy. That, of course, happens in the private sector as well, but it seems more profound in government and that’s something I was really attracted to.”
Nallapati earned a bachelor’s degree in electronics from Nagarjuna University and a master’s degree in nuclear physics from Andhra University, both in India.
Her appointment is effective June 1. Kevin Patterson, a deputy chief of staff in the governor’s office, will continue overseeing OIT until that time.