DIR’s Executive Director and State of Texas Chief Information Officer, Amanda Crawford, named Cooke to the role after appointing him to serve in an interim capacity upon the retirement of the former Statewide Chief Data Officer, Ed Kelly, in September.
“Neil quickly transitioned into the role of interim Statewide Chief Data Officer, rising to the challenge of taking over a successful statewide program and maintaining the momentum,” Crawford said. “Neil is well-respected among his colleagues at both DIR and throughout the state data management community. I am honored to name Neil to this role and excited to see where he leads the program.”
Cooke previously served as DIR’s Data Officer and has worked for various Texas state agencies for 15 years. He brings a total of 25 years of IT experience, leading complex projects, large programs, data governance, data management, and data strategy, and creating opportunities for data sharing across governmental entities.
“I'm thrilled and honored to serve in this role, and to work with such wonderful leadership, colleagues, and peers across Texas,” Cooke said. “Together, we will continue to find opportunities to strengthen statewide data governance, seek opportunities for data sharing, and manage this most critical strategic asset.”
In 2015, the Texas Legislature established the Chief Data Officer role in Texas Government Code Section 2054.0286 to improve the state’s information collection practices and information sharing between agencies. The Chief Data Officer oversees the state’s Open Data Portal and the Data Management Advisory Committee, comprised of state agency data management officers that develop best practices around data governance.
For more information, visit: https://dir.texas.gov/office-chief-data-officer