The State Chief Information Officer of Nevada
At first glance, Timothy Galluzi role as CIO at the State of Nevada seems a far cry from his previous career with the United States Marine Corps.
However, Galluzi’s time in the Marine Corps was simply the start of his technology journey, and saw him specialise in telecommunications and radio systems during deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.
As an instructor at the Mountain Warfare Training Center, based on the California-Nevada state border, he taught mountain communications to Marines and other service members.
When it was time to leave the Marine Corps, Galluzi relocated to Nevada having fallen in love with the area, and enrolled at Western Nevada College in Carson City.
“I’m a big proponent of community college education because that is how we develop a lot of the technical workforce,” says Galluzi. “Personally, I needed a transition from active duty service in the Marine Corps to civilian life, and college was a great way to make that transition.”
A CIO in the making
Galluzi’s propensity to quickly pick up IT skills soon saw him recruited as a Programmer Analyst supporting the institution, and he simultaneously earned an MBA in IT management from Western Governors University, Nevada.
“It was a 100% online, competency-based programme where you get credit for knowledge, skills and abilities you've previously attained, and you can set your own pace,” explains Galluzi. “For working adults, it really makes sense.
“Of course, at the time, I didn’t know I would become a CIO, let alone a state CIO, but the Master’s seemed a really good fit.”
In 2017, Galluzi was poached by the State of Nevada and served in various roles before becoming Division Administrator and then State CIO.
“The best thing about my job is that I get to work with some of the most intelligent, creative people in the technology space, especially in government,” he continues. “There's always limited resources but huge demands on governments, and it takes a lot of creativity to solve those really big problems.
“A close second to that would be the fact I get to learn every day. Technology is constantly evolving so, as a lifelong learner, that keeps me on my toes.”
Given the rapid modernisation and transformation being seen across industries, Galluzi admits it can be a challenge to keep up.
That, inevitably, results in a stringent process of prioritisation.
“There’s so much we want to do, but only so many hours in the day,” he adds. “Having to prioritise what's going to make the biggest impact is tough because agencies have different perspectives.
“There are limitations in terms of culture, too. It’s hard to constantly push change without creating fatigue and burning people out.”
It must be emphasised, however, that Galluzi is certainly not one to shy away from challenges that come his way. In fact, he admits to actively seeking them out.
“I've always looked for opportunities to place myself at the point of friction,” he concludes. “Ever since my military service, I wanted to be at the point where there's a lack of knowledge or where leadership needs to be injected.
“If I was giving advice to anybody, I’d say put yourself in a position where you can make a difference and don’t be afraid of the hard work that goes along with it. That’s worked out quite well for me.”
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“For me, we're so much more than a large technology company. There's a responsibility on us as a strategic partner to nations, and as a partner to governments.”