Meet CDT’s New Leaders Who are Driving Innovation

May 6, 2024 – California is recognized globally as a leader in technology, and the California Department of Technology (CDT) Office of Technology plays an important role in shaping the state’s tech landscape. Its mission is to craft strategies, policies, and initiatives that drive California’s technology systems and investments, ensuring they support the State’s standing as a top global tech leader and the fifth largest economy worldwide. This is an exciting era where State leadership can use technology to revolutionize services, making them more efficient, accessible, and inclusive than ever before. 

To continue this innovative momentum, CDT recently brought on board three tech executives to support the CDT’s vision and maintain the State’s leadership position. 

Ivy Teng Lei, California’s inaugural Chief Digital Strategy Officer, joins CDT from her previous role as vice president of growth at Exygy, a company specializing in integrating design and technology for social impact. Ivy’s background includes roles as Account Strategy Director at and Director of Client Strategy at Thesis. She also serves as the Board President of the Digital Service Coalition, a group dedicated to incorporating human-centered design into civic technology and government. With a background as a New York native, DREAMer, and immigrant, Ivy’s passion lies in creating digital solutions for real-world problems.  

“As the State’s first Chief Digital Strategy Officer, I’ll be focusing on the intersection of emerging technology, digital strategy, policies, and the communities we serve,” said Lei. “I’m thrilled to collaborate with government, technology, and community leaders to realize our vision of a more inclusive and equitable California.” 

Renoir “Ren” Pope assumes the role of Chief Enterprise Architect for the State of California and leads the Office of Enterprise Architecture within CDT. Pope is tasked with developing the State’s architectural framework, outlining how information and technology will support business operations and benefit government stakeholders. He spearheads digital transformation efforts and evaluates new technology adoption to ensure it aligns with the needs of the state government and its residents. With three decades of experience in technology, Renoir has held leadership positions in federal and state governments, as well as the private sector. He is also a former commissioned officer and veteran of the U.S. Air Force. 

“The Chief Enterprise Architect’s role is to develop the tools and vision needed to meet the State’s business needs, and the needs of California’s residents,” Renoir stated. “In my capacity, I will lead the Office of Enterprise Architecture as a resource for state leadership, providing insights into their technology investments and assisting in making strategic business decisions.” 

Chaeny Emanavin has joined CDT as the Deputy State Chief Technology Officer. He brings over 25 years of civic technology experience ranging from web application development to enterprise technology modernization efforts. Emanavin, who has worked at CDT previously, enjoys coaching teams to apply private sector methodologies adapted for public sector use including product management, human centered design, iterative/agile methodologies, and design thinking.  

 Prior to rejoining CDT, Chaeny was a senior advisor with the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg Center for Public Innovation where he coached international teams in Bogotá, Columbia; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Reykjavík, Iceland; Mexico City, Mexico as well as San Francisco and Washington DC in using human-centered design and product management to create novel solutions for cities. 

 “I am so excited and grateful for this opportunity to join the team! I’m passionate about CDT’s vision to transform the business model, and excited to apply my knowledge of product management and customer focus to help provide world class customer service as well as reaffirm CDT’s position as the preferred technology partner for departments statewide.”
 In their respective roles, these executives are poised to advance California’s technological landscape, ensuring that it remains inclusive and responsive to the needs of its residents. Their expertise and passion for innovation will contribute to the State’s continued success as a global tech leader.