Three New Executives Join CDT Team

February 24, 2021-Governor Gavin Newsom appointed three key technology executives to the California Department of Technology, including a new Deputy State Chief Information Officer/Chief Deputy Director to replace Richard Rogers who is retiring at the end of February.

The newly appointed Deputy State CIO and CDT Chief Deputy Director, Russell J. Nichols, has been Director of the Division of Enterprise Information Services at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation since 2015. He also served as the Department’s Agency Information Officer and previously as its Director of the CDCR Strategic Offender Management Systems’ Program.  Nichols was responsible for the technology solutions provided to employees and offenders.

Nichols oversaw more than 640 Information Technology employees while at CDCR. In 2018, the California Public Sector CIO Academy named him Chief Information Officer of the Year.

In addition to the new Deputy CIO, Governor Newsom appointed a State Chief Technology Officer and State Chief Technology Innovation Officer.

With more than 30 years of public sector experience, Liana M. Bailey-Crimmins was appointed to be CDT’s Deputy Director of the Office of Technology Services (OTech) and State Chief Technology Officer.

In her previous positions, Bailey-Crimmins served as Chief Information Security Officer at the California Public Employees’ Retirement System since 2019, where she led and oversaw the team responsible for protecting the private data of nearly 2 million CalPERS members and a $400 billion investment portfolio. She also served as CalPERS’ Chief Health Director from 2017 to 2019 and as its Chief Information Officer from 2013 to 2017. Before joining CalPERS, she was the information technology director and CIO of California Correctional Health Care Services and project director of the California Information Technology Infrastructure Project.

In 2015, Bailey-Crimmins was honored with the prestigious “CIO of the Year” award from the California CIO Academy.

Rick Klau is another appointment who will join CDT as Deputy Director of Office of Enterprise Technology (OET) and State Chief Technology Innovation Officer. He takes over from Acting OET Deputy Director Manveer Bola.

Klau, who recently left Google after more than 13 years, began on Google’s business development team and moved to product management where he led product initiatives on some of Google’s largest consumer products (Blogger, Google+, and YouTube). He spent his last nine years at Google Ventures (GV), Alphabet’s early-stage venture capital firm, as Senior Operating Partner responsible for leading several of GV’s operating teams. In that capacity, he worked with founders and leaders at hundreds of fast-growth startups, helping with everything from scaling their organizations, aligning priorities across teams, and connecting them to the C-suite at Fortune 500 companies in his network to accelerate their growth.