The self-proclaimed “Indian Jay Leno” is taking his talents to the islands.
Sonny Bhagowalia, the General Services Administration’s Deputy Associate Administrator in the Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies, is leaving the agency to become Hawaii’s first full-time chief information officer.
“I’m humbled by the opportunity to be part of such a critical effort for the great State of Hawai’i,” Bhagowalia said. “I look forward to collaborating with the many people who are already working hard to improve public services and create a more efficient government. My experience has trained me to see information and possibility in everything, and I’m eager to discover what opportunities lie ahead for Hawai’i.”
Bhagowalia has been at GSA since May of last year and was previously the CIO at the Department of Interior and the Bureau of Indian Affairs & Bureau of Indian Education. He also spent 14 years at Boeing and was a program manager at the FBI.
The announcement came yesterday as part of a new bill that allocates funds for the newly created CIO office. Bhagowalia, who was picked out of more than 100 candidates, will initially lead a seven person office charged with bringing the state’s IT into present day (the state doesn’t even have a data center and uses Wang computer, according to reports).
“Outdated and ineffective technology is perhaps the largest impediment to making our government work,” said Governor Neil Abercrombie. “Sonny brings a background in technology and management coupled with more than 25 years of experience in senior government and private sector positions. I’m confident he will lead us into a new era of efficiency and service-oriented government.”