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Bailey-Crimmins Named State CIO and CDT Director

Liana Bailey-Crimmins, a veteran of state technology governance, most recently served as the state’s chief technology officer.

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Veteran state technology leader Liana Bailey-Crimmins was named Tuesday as California’s new state chief information officer and director of the California Department of Technology.

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s appointment of Bailey-Crimmins requires Senate confirmation, and the annual compensation is $206,797.

Headshot of Liana Bailey-Crimmins.
Liana Bailey-Crimmins
Russ Nichols will remain deputy state CIO and chief deputy director of CDT. He had been acting CIO since Amy Tong moved from that role in December to the Government Operations Agency, where she now serves as secretary.

Bailey-Crimmins, 52, most recently was the state’s chief technology officer, a role to which Newsom appointed her in February 2021. Bailey-Crimmins had previously served as chief information security officer for the California Public Employees’ Retirement System from 2019 to 2021, following her tenures in CalPERS as chief health director from 2017 to 2019 and CIO from 2013 to 2017. Bailey-Crimmins also served as CIO for California Correctional Health Care Services from 2010 to 2013, after having served as deputy CIO from 2008 to 2010. Prior to that, she had been chief of infrastructure services for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and a data processing manager of network operations for the California Youth Authority.

In interviews last year with Industry Insider — California (formerly Techwire), Bailey-Crimmins discussed her priorities, her relationships with vendors and her personal style of leadership. As the state CTO, she said, she urged other state tech executives to remember, “The goal in mind is that we want the residents of California to thank us in two, three, four years for the decisions that we make today. That’s the test.” She also addressed her priorities as a key leader in state technology governance, and she talked about her relationship with the vendor community.

In those interviews, Bailey-Crimmins also talked about her own approach to the job and, more generally, to life:

“I see myself as a continual learner. No matter where we are in our career, there are always opportunities to learn. And I also make sure that I try to balance the left and right hemispheres of my brain.

“Being a technologist, we have a tendency to be very logical-thinking, data-driven,” she added. “But I am also a painter; I paint in watercolor and oils. I’ve actually had showings. … I’m also a martial artist — 12 years being a black belt — and you learn a lot about yourself, your strengths and weaknesses.”

She also addressed a 2018 cancer diagnosis: “Through all my treatments and all my surgery, I only missed one board meeting. Work was a way for me to focus on something bigger than myself. … I tell that story because it reminds you of what’s important in life and what can motivate us and keep us going. Any time we overcome a challenge, we’re better on the other side of it. When we’re in it, obviously, it’s a little bit different feeling. …

“I’m three years past that diagnosis, so I’m on the other side of this, so my story is not everyone else’s story. But sometimes we need to think about things outside of ourselves: ‘What is our purpose in life?’ And when you find that purpose, they say, you never work a day in your life. That’s why I do what I do, and I enjoy it.”
Dennis Noone is Executive Editor of Industry Insider. He is a career journalist, having worked as a reporter and editor at small-town newspapers and major metropolitan dailies in California, Nevada, Texas and Virginia, including as an editor with USA Today in Washington, D.C. He lives in Northern California.