Governor Nominates Public and Private Sector Leader with IT Expertise to Cabinet Post
James Collins nominated to serve as the next Chief Information Officer of Department of Technology and Information
Wilmington, DE – Governor Jack Markell announced today he is nominating James Collins to become the next Chief Information Officer (CIO) of the Delaware Department of Technology and Information (DTI), recognizing Collins’ extensive experience as a leader in state organizations and on information technology projects. If confirmed by the State Senate, Collins would succeed Jim Sills, who will take over as president and chief executive officer of Mechanics and Farmers Bank next week after serving as DTI CIO since 2009. DTI Chief Operating Officer William Hickox will serve as Acting CIO immediately following Sills’ departure. The Senate will have an opportunity to consider Collins’ nomination when it meets for a special session on October 8th.
“James understands that nearly every initiative we undertake as a state involves information technology,” said Governor Markell. “His expertise in this field along with his impressive record of developing and implementing innovative services make him an ideal candidate to serve as the state’s Chief Information Officer.
“In addition, James’ work with DTI through his previous roles will give him a head start in using his leadership skills to drive the agency’s work in protecting the security of the state’s networks, continuing expansion of access to high speed broadband, and partnering with the rest of my administration.”
Collins, who earned a Master of Science in Managing Innovation and Information Technology from Champlain College in 2005, spent ten years as the Director of Delaware’s Division of Professional Regulation (DPR) in the Department of State. He served simultaneously as Deputy Secretary of State from 2009 – 2013, where he helped to manage nearly 600 employees and expand the state’s e-Government initiatives and use of information technology, including to:
· Enhance patient care and increase revenues by 22 percent at the Delaware Veterans Home by deploying an electronic medical records (EMR) system;
· Increase public access to information through the Public Service Commission’s web portal; and
· Create the Veterans Services Directory, an online searchable database of organizations that provide assistance to veterans, military members, and their families.
At DPR, Collins also led the establishment of the Delaware Prescription Monitoring Program database to combat a statewide prescription drug abuse problem. The system, used by a significant portion of Delaware physicians, serves as a powerful tool for prescribers to prevent drug-seeking “doctor shoppers” from abusing prescription medications.
Collins left the Department in January to become the Governor’s Deputy Chief of Staff, a position that includes acting as Markell’s policy advisor on issues relating to DTI.
“I am thrilled and humbled to be nominated by Governor Markell to lead DTI,” said Collins. “If confirmed, I will take very seriously the agency’s most important obligation to safeguard the state’s data and information systems, and to provide agencies with strong support in order to help them deliver the highest quality services to our ultimate customers – the people of Delaware.
“I know the state is highly dependent on secure information systems that are functioning at their highest levels. If given the opportunity to serve, it will be my priority to work with the talented team at DTI to make the agency’s expertise and assistance readily available for these initiatives.”
Prior to joining the Department of State, Collins implemented large-scale computer technology projects as a senior consultant with Peregrine Systems, an enterprise software company, and MAXIMUS Inc., a leading operator of government health and human services programs around the world.
Collins, 44, earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Wesley College in 1997, while serving in the United States Air Force for nearly nine years, before finishing his military career at Dover Air Force Base. He is also certified by the International Board of Standards for Training, Performance and Instruction as a technical trainer in the information technology industry. He resides with his wife and daughter in Magnolia.
The Delaware Department of Technology and Information serves as the state’s central IT organization, chartered to deliver core services to other state organizations and exercise governance over the technology direction and investments of the state.