• Priorities Podcast

Shawn Riley looks to clean energy and crypto in post-CIO life

On the latest episode of the Priorities podcast, North Dakota Chief Information Officer Shawn Riley explains his decision to leave state government next month for a role with Bitzero International, a cryptocurrency-mining and energy-development company.

“I left the normal private sector to go to the health care private sector because I wanted to make the world better for people,” Riley said. “I left health care to go to government, because they made this opportunity to make the world better for people. And I’m leaving government to go back to the private sector again because of the same thing.”

Riley is set to become CEO of Bitzero’s American operations. Among the company’s projects are converting a decommissioned missile site into a crypto mine and moving data centers onto more sustainable energy sources.

“It’s zero carbon displacement with heat capture and energy reuse,” Riley says. “So it’s a collection of technologies and methodologies that are helping us to be able to bring things like data centers off of black energy into green energy.”

Later on the podcast, Dhwani Pandya, an IT director for the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood, talks about the agency’s new Parent Portal. That project was recently nominated for a NASCIO State IT Recognition Award

In the news this week:

Nevada is distributing its biggest-ever investment in broadband, but plans could be complicated by a state law that limits municipal involvement. The NTIA, which is administering broadband money from last year’s infrastructure law, wants community-owned providers to have access to these funds. But Nevada is one of 17 states with laws restricting municipalities and counties from providing telecommunications services.

Nearly 1,700 state and local government agencies and education institutions have bought telecommunications products made by Chinese firms banned from doing business with the federal government since 2015, according to a report from Georgetown University’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology.

A workforce development program in Maryland will fund cybersecurity training for up to 100 state technology employees. The program will send selected employees to the Baltimore Cyber Range for basic or advanced cybersecurity courses.

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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.