(WNY News Now) – Dru Rai, a seasoned leader with 30 years of experience in digital, IT, and eCommerce, has been appointed as the new Chief Information Officer for New York State, aiming to spearhead the state’s digital transformation and enhance cyber defenses.
Albany- New York Governor Kathy Hochul has officially named Dru Rai as the Chief Information Officer (CIO) for New York State, entrusting him with the pivotal role of overseeing the state’s digital evolution and bolstering its cybersecurity efforts. Rai’s extensive background in digital technology, information technology (IT), and eCommerce, spanning three decades, has marked him as a formidable choice to lead this charge.
Governor Hochul expressed her optimism, emphasizing New York’s historical commitment to pioneering IT solutions for its residents. She underlined Rai’s appointment as pivotal to continuing this legacy, especially in light of the accelerated digitalization driven by the pandemic.
Rai’s distinguished career includes roles as Chief Digital and Information Officer at Quaker Houghton Company, Global CIO for corporations such as Ball Corporation, DuPont Coatings, and GE Advanced Material, along with early experience at Ernst & Young. Rai’s educational background, holding degrees from GB Pant University in India and the University of Connecticut, complements his wealth of experience.
In his new role, Rai intends to forge a collaborative team focused on delivering top-tier digital solutions for all stakeholders. He aims to improve user experiences, foster trust between New Yorkers and their government, and ensure alignment with the state’s strategic IT objectives.
Jennifer Lorenz, the Acting Chief Information Officer during the selection process, will step into the role of Executive Deputy CIO, reinforcing Rai’s efforts. Together, they will advance the state’s IT vision under Governor Hochul’s leadership.
New York State’s Office of Information Technology Services (ITS) plays a vital role in several crucial state initiatives. These encompass digitizing services, enhancing cybersecurity measures, enhancing the customer experience, developing a unified identification system, expanding data and privacy programs, and fortifying the IT workforce post-COVID-19.
ITS holds a statutory mandate to safeguard the state’s systems from cyber threats and operates the Joint Security Operations Center (JSOC) in Brooklyn, known for its innovative “whole of state” cybersecurity approach.