The Arkansas Department of Transformation and Shared Services (TSS) Division of Information Systems (DIS) has named Robert McGough as the state’s new chief data officer (CDO).

In this role, McGough will lead the state’s efforts to improve data structure, security, and data use – with a concentration on policy.

He has served as deputy CDO since 2017, a role in which he “worked to grow data analytic capacity and communities of practice for the sharing, integrating, and analyzing data to support improved policy decisions and operations,” according to the March 15 press release.

“I am thrilled to have Robert serve as our next chief data officer,” said TSS Secretary Joseph K. Wood. “With his experience leading the ARData team and extensive data analytical knowledge, I have full confidence he will lead our state toward a data-driven and action-oriented approach that aligns perfectly with transformation’s core mission.”

McGough has over 20 years of experience in data management and analytics supporting public sector entities within DIS.

He served as lead author on the Feasibility and Cost Study on the Development of a Statewide Data Warehouse Program and as the state’s technical liaison with the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

According to TSS, he also actively contributes to efforts by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, National Science Foundation, National Governors Association, the Coleridge Initiative, and others, to modernize the national data infrastructure.

Additionally, the new CDO currently serves on the Arkansas Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) executive committee, the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet, and the interim executive committee of the Southern Regional Data Collaborative.

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