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CDT Names 2 to Key Roles in Enterprise Technology Office

The two chief positions — one for transformation and digital stabilization, the other for digital identity — are part of the growth promised by state Chief Technology Innovation Officer Rick Klau, who heads the Office of Enterprise Technology.

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The California Department of Technology (CDT) announced Tuesday that two executives have been named to new leadership roles in CDT’s Office of Enterprise Technology.

Jeff Barrett is the state’s new transformation and digital stabilization chief in the Office of Enterprise Technology (OET), which provides platforms and technology such as geographic information systems (GIS) and open data, as well as services ranging from development and operations engineering to planning and product management to software engineering.
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Jeff Barrett

Barrett worked from January 2020 through September 2021 as a digital services expert for U.S. Digital Service, in the Executive Office of the President. There, he worked with key federal agencies including Veterans Affairs, Health and Human Services, the Office of Personnel Management and the Department of Homeland Security on projects ranging from crisis response to digital modernization and strategic planning, CDT said in a news release.

Barrett’s roots are in the private sector, having spent 17 years working at Bay Area tech companies and four years as chief technology officer for Stitch Fix, where he led the product management, design, engineering and IT organizations. He has also been a startup adviser to several firms in recent years.

Barrett, who graduated from Georgia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in computer science, started in his new role Nov. 29.

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Gregory Fair
CDT also announced that Gregory Fair began his new role Dec. 1 as the state’s digital identity chief, also in OET. Fair joins the state from Google, where he worked most recently in the company’s Privacy and Data Protection Office. While with Google, Fair led several data and privacy initiatives, including addressing the General Data Protection Regulation in the EU, and he was the product owner for Google’s privacy product suite, which includes such tools as Privacy Checkup and Google Takeout, a data portability service.

Fair is also co-founder of the collaborative Data Transfer Project, which launched in 2018 as an open source, service-to-service data portability platform so people could easily move their data among online service providers at will. Previously, Fair worked on the product team at Meebo, an instant messaging and social networking provider that’s now part of Google.

As a former educator, Fair developed and taught programs in math, science, music and outdoor education for the Lawrence Hall of Science, the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum and a number of other schools and institutions. He holds a bachelor of arts in music from the University of California at Berkeley, and a master’s degree in music performance from San Jose State University.

In his LinkedIn profile, Fair cites his expertise in “consumer, enterprise and advertiser products, web identity, open source technologies, data governance, data portability, and privacy-preserving technologies.” He lists soccer and opera singing as among his passions.

Barrett and Fair are the newest additions to the team headed by state Chief Technology Innovation Officer Rick Klau, who said during a Techwire Member Briefing in September that building his team was his top priority.

Klau, who joined CDT in February, came from Google Ventures, where he was senior operating partner. In September, he recruited Phoebe Peronto from Google to serve as the state’s deputy chief technology innovation officer.

A February report on the state budget by the Legislative Analyst’s Office spells out a desire by CDT to “stabilize critical services and IT infrastructure,” the task with which Barrett is charged. The same report also addressed the need for “a single digital identifier for applicants across state programs and services,” which matches Fair’s new assignment in the area of digital identification.

The appointments come in the wake of the news last week that state Chief Information Officer Amy Tong will leave CDT at the end of the month and will be the new director of the Office of Digital Innovation (ODI), which, like CDT, comes under the state Government Operations Agency.
Dennis Noone is Managing Editor of Techwire. 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 the Northern California foothills.