Governor Abercrombie Announces Chief Information Officer to Transform State’s Technology

Posted on Jun 7, 2011 in Featured




HONOLULU – Governor Neil Abercrombie today named Sanjeev “Sonny” Bhagowalia as the State of Hawai’i’s first full-time Chief Information Officer (CIO) to transform the state’s information technology system.

Governor Abercrombie also signed into law House Bill 1060, which appropriates funding for the CIO and the recently-created Office of Information Management and Technology (OIMT).

Bhagowalia, who will report to Governor Abercrombie and head OIMT, will work collaboratively with all state departments and agencies to develop and implement a plan to transform Hawai’i’s outdated technology infrastructure. A modernized state technology system will enable and enhance the delivery of government services, provide greater accountability for data and spending, enhance security and backup measures, and reduce energy usage.

“Outdated and ineffective technology is perhaps the largest impediment to making our government work,” said Governor Abercrombie.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.”

“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 currently serves as the Deputy Associate Administrator, Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies, U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) in Washington, D.C. He previously served in two CIO roles, one with the U.S. Department of the Interior and another with Bureau of Indian Affairs & Bureau of Indian Education within the U.S. Department of the Interior. Bhagowalia also served as a Program Management Executive at the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the U.S. Department of Justice. He oversaw eight of twelve CIO core competency areas and assisted the FBI CIO in transforming FBI’s enterprise IT and Information Resource Management Portfolio for mission success.

At the GSA, Bhagowalia supported the Federal CIO in implementing Government-wide e-Gov and Open Gov programs including, Federal Cloud Computing and Federal Data Center Consolidation initiatives, and mobile applications. These programs support Office of Management and Budget’s IT Reform Plan and the Open Government Directive.

In addition to his public sector experience, Bhagowalia also served with distinction for 14 years as Chief Engineer/Manager at Boeing Information Services, a subsidiary of Boeing, a top tier Fortune 500 company, in support of Systems Integration and Business Development for U.S. Government Civilian, Defense and Intelligence Community Clients. Bhagowalia was also recognized as a Senior Principal Engineer in the prestigious Boeing Technical Excellence Fellowship Program in the Boeing Company.

For Bhagowalia’s full biography, please visit His first day as CIO will be July 6, 2011.

In anticipation of the CIO’s arrival, OIMT has begun an assessment intended to provide an overview of technology across the state. OIMT selected Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), a Fortune 500 company with experience transforming, transitioning and improving IT environments for federal and state governments, to lead this assessment. The results of this assessment will be used by Bhagowalia to complete a roadmap for creating a strong technology backbone capable of supporting and enhancing state services.

The funding allocated in HB 1060 is supplemented by a $3 million grant from the Hawai’ i Community Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting efforts within the state to improve quality of life in the Islands. The grant was made from a donor advised fund established through the support of Pierre and Pam Omidyar.

For more details on OIMT, visit


For more information, contact: Donalyn Dela Cruz, Press Secretary, (808) 586-0034