• Priorities Podcast

Pennsylvania’s new CIO shares her vision for digital services

On the Priorities podcast, Pennsylvania Chief Information Officer Amaya Capellan tells StateScoop that after just a few weeks in the role, she’s sketched out a vision for how she plans to improve the state’s digital services.

Building on Gov. Josh Shapiro’s CODE PA initiative — a new office tasked with modernizing the commonwealth’s digital services — Capellan will be “relentlessly customer-focused,” she tells StateScoop.

“Digital transformation … is about ensuring a great customer experience at every touchpoint and in this case ensuring residents of the commonwealth engage with our agencies,” she says.

Capellan, a former Comcast executive, joined the state after being recruited by Tech Talent Pipeline, a group that scouts the private industry for government technology roles. 

Capellan replaced Patti Chapman, who’d been serving as interim CIO since John MacMillan stepped down last November just before former Gov. Tom Wolf was termed out of office. Since starting on July 24, Capellan says, she’s been learning the functions of each business unit and becoming acquainted with the cultural differences of the public sector.

“Focusing on helping the broader organization with how do we focus on the things that matter most and how do we streamline and clear blockers that get in people’s way and make their jobs hard is going to be core to what I’m here for,” she said.

In the news this week: 

West Virginia may allocate some surplus funding in the state budget to boost a burgeoning cybersecurity program at Marshall University. A state House committee passed advanced a bill that would build on the Department of Defense’s designation of the university as one of its National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is accepting applications for the second round of its Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation grants. The grants are designed to help public sector agencies harness the potential of technologies like connected vehicles and “smart” traffic signals.

The Colorado Department of Higher Education reports it was the victim of a data breach following a ransomware attack this past June. The department says affected data may include personal information of students and teachers going back to 2004.

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Priorities Podcast


Each week, the Priorities Podcast will take you through the latest in state and local government technology news and analysis. The program will explore trending stories throughout the week, as well as feature conversations with top executives across government and industry on things like modernization, emerging technology and digital services.

Hosted by Jake Williams

Jake Williams is the vice president of content and community for StateScoop and EdScoop. He's spent nearly a decade in the government IT market, covering the ins and outs of state and local government, as well as higher education. He started his journalism career in his native Pennsylvania and has also worked as a reporter for Campaigns & Elections magazine.