County of Santa Barbara Announces Chief Information Officer

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By the County of Santa Barbara

After a nationwide search, the County of Santa Barbara announced that Chris Chirgwin has been appointed as the County’s Chief Information Officer (CIO). Chirgwin will begin his employment September 6, 2022, and will report directly to the County Executive Officer Mona Miyasato.

Chirgwin was formerly CEO of Lanspeed, a leading IT services firm headquartered in Santa Barbara County, with over two decades of executive IT leadership and strategic consulting experience in local government along the Central Coast. 

“Chris is exactly what the County needs at this time, as we elevate the County’s focus on technology to better serve our whole community,” said Board Chair and 3rd District Supervisor Joan Hartmann.

In his new role as CIO, Chirgwin will be responsible for leading and overseeing the vision, strategy and operations of the soon to be formed Information Technology (IT) Department. The County’s central IT department was dismantled 12 years ago, resulting in a largely decentralized system within the County organization. Using a recently prepared organizational risk and readiness assessment, Chirgwin will be involved in the analysis, assessment and implementation approach for transitioning to a stand-alone IT Department.

“Chris has excelled throughout his career in providing organizations with a winning combination of strong leadership, broad technical expertise, sound strategic planning and effective collaboration with customers,” stated Miyasato.   “He will provide the direction we need to deliver better, efficient and innovative processes that are in line with best practices.  I have confidence that Chris will work collaboratively with our departments as we transition into a better, technology-focused and structured organization.”

“I am excited to be joining the County of Santa Barbara and looking forward to advancing technology usage and delivery in strategic and transformative ways. Technology is key to the County's development and growth, and I'm committed to providing leadership and direction in making the new IT Department be innovative, agile and responsive" said Chirgwin.

Chirgwin, who received his MBA from the University of Portland and his BA from Westmont College, and has deep local community ties, having served on several local non-profit boards and community service organizations.  

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