May 20, 2010, Austin, TX – The Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) Board announced today that it has named Karen W. Robinson as Executive Director. As the head of DIR, Robinson now serves as the Chief Information Officer for the state of Texas. She was appointed by Governor Rick Perry in October 2009 to lead DIR as Interim Executive Director. Following the board’s decision and vote, DIR Board Chairman Charles Bacarisse said, “Karen has the skill set, background, and legislative experience to do the job. She picked up the ball and carried it during the interim and is uniquely qualified to lead this agency.” Today’s appointment follows an eight month executive search and interview process.
As Interim Executive Director, Robinson led the effort to evaluate and restructure the State’s Data Center Services project to consolidate state agency servers and mainframes to two central locations. She reorganized DIR’s executive staffing and implemented an outreach initiative to the Legislature and state agencies. Robinson has also focused on building the success of DIR’s business lines, which include the ICT Cooperative Contracts Program, TexasOnline, Data Center Services, Communication Technology Services, and Information Security.
Robinson brings more than 20 years of government and private sector experience to the post. Prior to joining DIR, Robinson served as the Director of Administration and as Technology Advisor to Governor Rick Perry. She has also served as a Technical Advisor to former Texas Governor George Bush, as well as the Lieutenant Governor’s Office and the Texas Senate. She has coordinated the state’s technology needs during crisis relief efforts and was instrumental in launching the state’s official business web portal. Prior to working in government, Karen was an entrepreneur, small business owner, and a founding partner of the original Waterloo Icehouse restaurants. Karen is a native Texan and a proud resident of Liberty Hill. She is a wife, mother, and proud grandmother.
As the new Executive Director, Robinson said, “There are many challenges ahead for the Department of Information Resources, but I am confident that working together, we can help our customers and partners reach new levels of performance and technology.”
The Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) promotes a shared vision for Texas that maximizes the value of the State’s technology investment by identifying common areas of interest, using technology to advance agency missions, and preserving flexibility to innovate. Visit DIR at www.dir.state.tx.us.