Russ Nichols, the deputy state chief information officer (CIO) and deputy director of the California Department of Technology (CDT), plans to retire in early November, a department spokesperson told MeriTalk State & Local.

Nichols has served in his current position since March 2021, with a brief stint as the state’s acting CIO and director, following the departure of Amy Tong in January.

“In his 32 years with the state, Russ has exemplified the dedication and collaboration that comes with public service,” CDT Director and State CIO Liana Bailey-Crimmins said in a statement to MeriTalk State & Local. “As he prepares to depart CDT in early November, I am grateful for his partnership and support as acting director and chief deputy director.”

“On behalf of CDT, I thank Russ for his leadership and commitment to improving California state government and its delivery of services,” she added.

Prior to his time at CDT, Nichols served 11 years at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, six of which he spent as the CIO and IT director. Previously, he held roles at the California State Controller’s Office and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

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Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is MeriTalk SLG's Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.