September 28

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Ask any seasoned public sector leader about digital transformation and innovation, and they will likely tell you the No.1 factor for success is people, not technology.
As state and local governments face massive budget reductions due to the COVID-associated recession, they must ensure their employees can get as much value as possible out of the tools available to them and are prepared to leverage the technologies that will be a crucial part of the digital transformation to come.

The latter will be critically important as, even before the COVID-19 pandemic created an urgent need for digital transformation, state and local governments faced an IT skills gap. Last year, more than 90 percent of city and county officials said they saw a need for additional cybersecurity expertise in the next few years, and more than 80 percent said they needed more business intelligence and data analytics experts, according to the Center for Digital Government’s Digital Counties and Digital Cities surveys.

Join Government Technology on September 28 at 11 a.m. Pacific/2 p.m. Eastern for a 30-minute conversation as we discuss how you can upskill and reskill your IT workforce to survive the challenges of today and continue to deliver seamless constituent services.
Register now and you’ll hear how you can:
- Fully leverage the software licenses across your IT enterprise by making sure your employees know how to use these tools
- Upskill existing IT employees to address the IT skills gap in cybersecurity, data analytics, cloud and more
- Prepare your workforce to succeed in digital transformation initiatives  


Saad Bashir

Saad Bashir

Chief Technology Officer, City of Seattle

Saad Bashir was nominated by Mayor Durkan in Jan-2019 and officially confirmed by City Council in March-2019 as the City’s Chief Technology Officer. In this role, Saad’s team overseas a variety of technology related investments that run the daily operations of the corporation. Prior to Seattle, Saad was based in Canada’s capital, where he served as Director of Economic Development and Innovation and later as Chief Information Officer for the City of Ottawa. 

Saad brings several years of experience in the private and public sectors. He has held positions with organizations including Citibank, Flextronics, Canadian Pacific, Nortel Networks and Calgary Economic Development. He is passionate about strategic planning, talent development, financial analysis and change management. 

Saad has a degree in Computer Engineering from Queen’s University. He has held various volunteer board positions including most recently serving on the board of the international NGO, Oxfam Canada. He is also a 2013 recipient of “Forty Under 40” award.

Tony Holmes

Tony Holmes

Practice Lead for Solutions Architects Public Sector, Pluralsight

Pathological problem solver, and serial question asker, a lifelong student of mental models, experienced in creating innovative solutions where analogical ideas meet rigorous socratic method. For more than two decades Tony has been solving complex problems for some of the largest, and most forward-thinking technology organizations in the world; including British Broadcasting Corporation, Digital Equipment Corporation, Microsoft Research, Opsware, Hewlett Packard, Oracle and currently Pluralsight, THE Technology Skills platform for the Government.

Joe Panora

Joe Panora — Moderator

Senior Fellow, Center for Digital Government

Former Director Enterprise Information Services (EIS), State of California, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations
Former Chief Information Officer, State of California, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations
Former Chief Information Officer, State of California, Department of Youth Authority
Former Customer Service Bureau Chief, State of California, State Controller’s Office

Joe Panora was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger and Governor Brown to serve as Director of the Enterprise Information Services (EIS) for the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), since January 2008. During his career, Joe has also served for the following departments: Caltrans, Franchise Tax Board, Employment Development Department, State Controller’s Office and California Youth Authority. Joe retired from state service as the Director of EIS for CDCR in December 2014.

As the EIS Director, Joe was responsible for leading an organization with over 650 IT professionals. His team worked to deliver and improve statewide processes for education, rehabilitation, board hearings, healthcare, and offender/parole/juvenile operations. Also, this included the Department’s IT strategic plan, policies, standards, enterprise architecture, procurement, customer service/field operations, and automation efforts. Over his tenure, Joe implemented an IT project portfolio worth over $800 million, which resulted in both a business and IT transformation for CDCR. Significant program and cost efficiencies were achieved as well as enhanced delivery of services.

Joe received the following awards: 2014: Cybersecurity Leadership Innovation Award – Leadership Innovators Category (Center for Digital Government); 2013: Named one of the Government Technology’s Top 25 for Doers, Dreamer, and Driver for his contribution to public-sector innovation; and 2010: Named Outstanding Technology Leadership Award at the California CIO Academy Awards, a program hosted by Public CIO magazine.

Joe holds a Masters degree in Business Administration and Telecommunications, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting, and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).