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Gov. Hogan names Maryland’s first-ever data, privacy chiefs

Laura Gomez-Martin will serve as chief privacy officer, while Patrick McLoughlin will serve as chief data officer. Both bring experience from inside the state's information technology department.

Ready for work. Photo by ian dooley on Unsplash
Gov. Larry Hogan made a pair of C-level appointments on Wednesday to fill newly-created cyber roles in Maryland’s state government.

Laura Gomez-Martin will be the state’s first chief privacy officer, and Patrick McLoughlin is being tapped as the state’s first chief data officer.

These roles were created as part of five initiatives to secure Maryland’s data that Hogan detailed at a cybersecurity summit in Annapolis back in July. At the event, major players in both the government and the private sector discussed best practices to curb threats like ransomware attacks and major data breaches.

One of the best ways to solve any problem is hire professionals specifically to address it.

“With these appointments, Maryland is further cementing its status as the cyber capital of America,” said Hogan, in a statement. “Laura and Patrick both bring exceptional experience in these areas, and critical relationships with state and local leaders.”

Gomez-Martin is moving up from her position as deputy chief information security officer for Maryland. In the role, she served as the lead policy adviser for the development and implementation of the cybersecurity governance structure within the the Maryland Department of Information Technology’s (DoIT) Enterprise Initiative. As the first chief privacy officer in the state, she’ll be responsible for the state’s privacy program and data protection initiatives. She will also be responsible for monitoring program compliance, investigation and tracking of incidents and potential breaches, in addition to ensuring citizen’s rights.

It makes her one of the first to know and reach out to for information on data breaches in Maryland’s systems.

“How organizations collect and use data has increasingly become an important issue, and I’m excited to work with the governor’s office and state agencies to continue building privacy practices that protect the personal information of Maryland residents,” said Gomez-Martin.

McLoughlin is returning to the public sector after spending the last two years as a data and analytics consultant and director of data solutions at Baltimore-based engineering firm Johnson, Mirmiran, & Thompson (JMT). He has a familiarity with the state’s data infrastructure as a leader in building Maryland’s open data program as a former director of business intelligence for DoIT.

As chief data officer, he will be responsible for supervising data use and management, facilitating interagency data sharing, and (perhaps chief among those task) producing a strategic state data plan.

“In this environment of threats and vulnerabilities, it is critical that governments stay at the forefront of these issues,” said McLoughlin. “I’m looking forward to applying my experience in both the public sector and the private sector to advance the state’s commitment to data and analytics.”

These roles are only the start of efforts to build out the state’s data team. Per the executive order that created the positions, each state agency is required to appoint data officers to assist the corralling of interagency data and assist these chiefs in their roles.

Donte Kirby is a 2020-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation.
Companies: State of Maryland

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