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Information on Minnesota State Agencies, Boards, Task Forces, and Commissions

Compiled by the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library

Governor's Blue Ribbon Council on Information Technology

Also known as:
Active dates:February 2019 - February 2021

The council will be an advisory group to the Governor and Lieutenant Governor. The council will be made up of experts on development and implementation of Information Technology (IT)  in private and public institutions. The council will provide advice on how to update and maintain the state's IT systems to ensure that Minnesota residents and businesses who interact with the state receive the best possible service. Members of the council will also advise on the most efficient use of taxpayer dollars invested in IT projects, while keeping government data secure and protecting the state against cybersecurity threats.


The council expands on the work being done by the existing Technology Advisory Committee. The council will have three sub-committees: a Data Privacy Sub-Committee to provide advice related to the state's use and protection of private data and liaise with the Legislative Commission on Data Practices and Personal Data Privacy; a Cyber Security Sub-Committee to provide advice related to the protection of the state's IT infrastructure; a Modernization Sub-Committee to provide advice related to the state's largest and most complex IT projects. Each sub-committee will be comprised of five members of the council, as assigned by the council's chair. Each sub-committee will appoint a chair from its membership. The council may establish additional sub-committees as necessary to advance its work.

The council was established February 6, 2019 and will hold its first meeting in March 2019.

The council will prepare quarterly reports to the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, the Commissioner of Minnesota IT Services, and the Legislature, with the first report due by June 30, 2019. The quarterly reports will provide an update on the status of the above activities. The council expires on June 30, 2020.

Laws of Minnesota 2019, chap. 1, sec. 4 directs the chair of the council to conduct a review of MNLARS and produce a detailed report of the council's findings. The report, Independent Expert Review of MNLARS, was due and submitted on May 1, 2019. The review team's final recommendation was to replace MNLARS with a packaged software solution. When the report was released, Governor Walz announced his support for the recommendations outlined by the review team and his intention to seek a private software alternative for MNLARS.

On June 20, 2020 Governor Walz signed EO 20-77 extending the tenure of the Blue Ribbon Council on Information Technology through February 2021. 

Laws of Minnesota 2021, 1st Sp. Sess., chap. 5, art. 4, sec. 144 directs "the most recent chair" of the council to conduct another "independent expert review", this time of MnDRIVE, the state's new vehicle title and registration system. The report, Driver and Vehicle Services: Report of the Independent Expert Review was published in January 2022.


The council will be comprised of the following fifteen voting members: the nine members of the existing Technology Advisory Committee as set forth in Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 16E.036; and six additional members selected by the Governor and Lieutenant Governor with private-sector or public-sector IT experience or experience in academia pertaining to IT. The council will also have four ex officio non-voting members: a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives selected by the Speaker of the House; a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives selected by the Minority Leader; a member of the Minnesota Senate selected by the Majority Leader; and a member of the Minnesota Senate selected by the Minority Leader. The Governor and Lieutenant Governor will designate one of the fifteen voting members to serve as the Council's Chair.

The Blue Ribbon Council is an expansion of the existing Technology Advisory Committee. By statute the members of the Technology Advisory Committee include eight members who have public-sector and one member with private-sector IT experience.

The following individuals have been appointed to the council:

Rick King (Chair), executive vice president of operations at Thomson Reuters
Tewodros Bekele, SVP & CIO, Land O’ Lakes
Tom Butterfield, EVP & CIO, TCF Bank
Renee Heinbuch, IT Director, Washington County
Nancy Lyons, President & CEO, Clockwork
Michael McCullough, CIO, National Marrow Donor Program
Theresa Wise, former CIO, Delta Airlines & NW Airlines
Margaret Anderson Kelliher, MN Department of Transportation
Steve Grove, MN Department of Employment and Economic Development
Eric Hallstrom, MN Management & Budget
Lee Ho, MN Department of Revenue
Chuck Johnson, MN Department of Human Services
Richard Kolodziejski, MN Association of Professional Employees
Jason Lenz, Association of MN Counties
Laurie Martinson, MN Department of Natural Resources
Representative Kristin Bahner (ex-officio)
Senator Mark Koran (ex-officio)
Representative Jim Nash (ex-officio)
Senator Melissa Wiklund (ex-officio)

Entries for this agency in the Annual Compilation and Statistical Report of Multi-Member Agencies Report: 2023, 2021, 2020.

Note: This report provides membership details as well as meeting information and a summary of the group's activities.

Note: The Legislative Reference Library may have additional reports on or by this group available through our catalog.
News clippings and documents. Agencies Notebook Collection, 2019.
Record last updated: 04/29/2022

All information on this group from the Library’s collection of agency notebooks has been digitized. These materials are incorporated into the “documents/articles” section of the record. Please contact a librarian with any questions. The Minnesota Agencies database is a work in progress.

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