California names Kelso new CIO

J. Clark Kelso has been appointed by California Gov. Gray Davis to serve as the state's new chief information officer and special adviser on information technology, the governor's office announced Sept. 20.

Kelso will be responsible for providing leadership on IT policy and for working with other IT leaders throughout the state government. He also will continue to lead the Information Technology Management Initiative established by Davis' May 31 executive order, and will make recommendations to Davis for the oversight, procurement, management and operations of the state's IT systems.

Kelso served briefly as the interim director of the California Department of Information Technology before it was shut down June 30. The agency lost the confidence of the state legislature after department officials last year signed a controversial six-year, $95 million software enterprise licensing agreement with Oracle Corp. of Redwood Shores, Calif.

The ensuing controversy resulted in the resignation of three top officials, including former state CIO Elias Cortez. Oracle Corp. and Northrop Grumman Corp. of Los Angeles agreed to rescind the deal in July.

Kelso is the director of the Capital Center for Government Law and Policy at the University of the Pacific's McGeorge School of Law, where he has worked since 1994. He previously served under Davis as the chairman of the California Earthquake Authority and as California's acting insurance commissioner.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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