After nearly a year as Wyoming’s top technology official, state Chief Information Officer Bill Vajda resigned earlier this month, a spokesperson from the CIO’s office wrote Wednesday in an email to StateScoop.
Kayla Woods, of Wyoming’s Office of the Chief Information Officer, said Vajda stepped down Jan. 13 and that deputy CIO Timothy Sheehan is acting as interim CIO. Officials did not describe the circumstances of Vajda’s departure.
“I can not speak to the reasons behind Bill’s resignation but I can share that we are grateful for the leadership and service he provided to the state during his tenure,” Woods wrote.
Vajda could not be reached for comment.
Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon appointed Vajda last January, recruiting the former Alaska CIO from a post at the U.S. Department of the Interior. In Wyoming, Vajda replaced Gordon Knopp, who’d been dismissed alongside state health director Mike Ceballos after a records leak.
After his Wyoming appointment, Vajda told StateScoop last February he’d been attracted there — and to Alaska — by the “newness and freshness” of frontier states with small populations.
“I think for me the satisfying part about state government and local government is the proximity to your constituents,” he said at the time. “There’s a lot more immediacy just to being in that place.”
He named cybersecurity, IT modernization and digital services as his top priorities, along with an interest in pursuing blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies.
Last May, his office signed an agreement with the University of Wyoming to develop an executive-level training program for students interested in becoming state IT professionals.
In an interview for StateScoop’s Priorities podcast last December, Vajda said workforce was “probably priority No. 1 for everybody.”
“There are a lot of jobs open, a lot of recruitment that needs to go on,” he said, adding that there’s greater opportunity for organizations to recruit remote workers from outside their usual limited candidate pools.
At the Interior Department, Vajda assisted with pandemic response, which included the federal government’s shift to mostly remote operations.
Before Interior and Alaska, Vajda served in a variety of other IT and management roles, including five years as city manager in his hometown of Marquette, Michigan. He also worked in Washington in the early 2000s, serving as CIO of the U.S. Education Department and as an adviser to other agencies, including the National Security Agency and IRS.