Lemuel Stewart Jr. will have more independence than he did when he served as the state's IT director in the 1980s.

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

January 21, 2004

2 Min Read

A onetime head of state IT in Virginia with extensive private-sector experience is returning to government service as the commonwealth's new CIO. But this time around, Lemuel Stewart Jr. will have more independence than he did in the 1980s, when he served as IT director.

Stewart, 57, begins work Feb. 1 as the first state CIO under the newly created Virginia Information Technology Agency. Past CIOs reported to the governor; Stewart will answer to the independent Virginia Technology Investment Board and serve as its chief administrative officer. He'll be employed under a five-year contract, an unusual employment arrangement in government and business for a CIO. Stewart's starting pay will be $165,000 a year, making him one of the highest-paid governmental CIOs in the nation. A survey conducted by a Virginia legislative panel identified only one state with a higher CIO salary: Tennessee at $225,000. Stewart also will earn more than most other Virginia government officials, including cabinet officers, who receive $131,370 annually.

Board member Len Pomata, who headed the CIO search committee, says Stewart's mixture of government and private-sector experience will give him the ability to respond to a wide variety of constituencies.

Stewart is the former president of the EDI Healthcare services division at Quadramed Corp. and of Health Communication Services Inc. at Trigon Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Virginia, now Anthem. He's now president of Executive Partners in Glen Allen, Va., an independent consulting firm that provides business-planning, project-management, operational-analysis, IT strategy evaluation, and business-development services to government and private-sector companies.

"Lem's extensive experience with IT integration and consolidation and his understanding of Virginia state government will be invaluable to the commonwealth," George Newstrom, technology secretary and IT Investment Board chairman, said in a statement. Newstrom was the last CIO under the former IT governance system that expired Dec. 31.

The Virginia Information Technology Agency, created last year, will oversee consolidation of IT equipment and services of executive branch agencies and nearly $500 million in annual technology investments. In addition, the new CIO is responsible for monitoring trends and advances in IT; developing a comprehensive, statewide strategic plan for IT; and planning for the acquisition, management, and use of IT by state agencies.

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