On January 3, Christopher Cruz started in his new position as chief information officer (CIO) for the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS). As the department’s highest ranking IT professional, he will oversee the design and implementation of IT applications, project management, enterprise architecture, information security and application support and maintenance, among other duties.

Cruz also co-chairs the E-mail, Directory, and Collaboration Services work group for the statewide IT consolidation effort currently underway by the Technology Agency, an assignment he began when he was agency CIO for the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA).

“Chris is a terrific choice for this position – his leadership will be invaluable as the Department of Health Care Services takes on a number of important challenges, helped in so many ways by a strong technology program,” said Christy Quinlan, acting secretary of the California Technology Agency and former CIO for DHCS.

Since 2007, Cruz has served as agency CIO and in other capacities for CDFA. Prior to that, he worked in the private sector as senior project manager with Lockheed Martin IMS/CARTA and then as information systems manager (IT director) for Eskel Porter Consulting. He first started in state service in 1989 as a criminal identification specialist at the Department of Justice where he spent three years before moving to the Department of Health Services.

In 2009, he received the California Public Sector Chief Information Officer Academy Outstanding Leader Award given by the Center for Digital Government and in 2010 he received the Award for Vision and Innovation in Government from Government Technology.