Fairfax County CIO, Director of IT Named 'Public Officials of the Year'
Office of Public Affairs
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Nov. 18, 2003
Fairfax County CIO, Director of IT
Named 'Public Officials of the Year'
Fairfax County Chief Information Officer David J. Molchany and
Department of Information Technology Director Wanda Gibson are among 11
winners of Governing Magazine's Public Official of the Year awards for
2003, given in recognition of outstanding achievement at the state and
local level. Molchany and Gibson were recognized for having found
innovative ways to align county resources with changing customer
requirements, and to establish a 21st century IT enterprise with an
unyielding commitment to deliver service to the public.
As CIO, Molchany is responsible for the overall strategic vision for a broad range of information based departments and all aspects of information and technology needed to support the county government and its constituents. He directs the efforts of the Department of Information Technology, the Department of Cable Communications and Consumer Protection, the Fairfax County Public Library and the county's enterprise-wide HIPAA (Health Information Portability and Accountability Act) compliance function. He is responsible for publicizing the county's information and technology services and capabilities nationally and internationally and participates in external groups at the local, state, federal and international levels. Molchany is responsible for the strategic direction of the county’s award winning E-Government program, which includes the county’s Internet Web site, multimedia kiosks, Integrated Voice Response systems and government cable television channel. The Bertelsmann Foundation of Germany recognized the county’s e-government program in 2002 as one of the four top pace setters in the world. Molchany is a 1983 graduate of Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing and computer science.
As director of the Department of Information Technology and Chief
Technology Officer, Gibson is responsible for the management of all
aspects of information technology supporting the county’s operations and
service to its constituents. She also oversees the development of a solid
technology architecture and environment that meets the vast array of
needs throughout county agencies and that positions the county to take
advantage of relevant IT trends and directions. She provides senior
management oversight of computer systems development and maintenance
projects, data processing center operations, technical support, and data,
voice and video telecommunications functions. Gibson earned a Bachelor of
Science degree in psychology and Master of Business Administration from
Howard University, and certificates on Information Technology Management
and Critical Software Engineering from MIT.
Molchany and Gibson take a “Mr. Outside, Ms. Inside” approach, says County Executive Anthony Griffin. Molchany provides the big-picture vision, with input from steering and policy committees, and Gibson focuses on delivering the technology. “Dave’s very good at building relationships, not just in the organization but at the state level and with peers statewide, nationally and internationally,” Griffin says. “Wanda is the consummate professional on the inside, pushing the appropriate buttons within the technology department, constantly looking at how the organization can be responsive to the county.”
They work together to ensure that agencies’ goals fit in the IT strategic vision while at the same time ensuring that agencies have access to current IT solutions. In addition, they manage an award-winning e-government program that has been recognized throughout the world.
“In different ways,” said Alan Ehrenhalt, Governing’s executive editor, “each of these [award winners] has demonstrated creativity, persistence and courage at a time all these qualities are desperately needed in American public life. They have shown a willingness to struggle against the odds, sometimes winning and sometimes losing, but setting powerful examples for future leaders to follow.”
Other Governing’s 2003 Public Officials of the Year are: Governor Bob Riley of Alabama; Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson; Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr.; Nebraska Education Commissioner Doug Christensen; Carolyn Purcell, chief information officer of Texas; Regina V.K. Williams, Norfolk, Va., city manager; Fran Pavley, a member of the California Assembly; Wisconsin Tax Administrator Diane Hardt; and Mark Funkhouser, auditor of Kansas City, Mo.
The award winners are profiled in the November
issue of Governing and were honored at a dinner Nov. 13 in Washington,