Bill Oates is Chief Information Officer for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, based on Beacon Hill. He was appointed to that role in January of 2014.
As Commonwealth CIO, Bill is responsible for establishing and overseeing the state’s strategy for leveraging technology and innovation in running the digital business of government.
Bill also serves as Agency Head for the Massachusetts Office of Information Technology – known as MassIT – the state’s lead agency for technology and innovation. MassIT serves more than 150 state agencies as well as cities, towns, and schools across the state.
Prior to his appointment as Commonwealth CIO, Bill served as the first Cabinet-level CIO for the City of Boston. Appointed in 2006 by Mayor Thomas M. Menino, Bill spearheaded the city’s technology initiatives and was responsible for the delivery of IT services in support of the various city functions.
Under Bill’s leadership, the city of Boston transformed its use of technology to better engage with constituents. The Office of New Urban Mechanics, now a globally recognized model for civic innovation, was established. In 2009, the city launched the Citizens Connect initiative to drive citizen engagement and promote transparency while improving delivery of services. With Citizens Connect as the model, Bill worked with state government to bring the Commonwealth Connect app to more than 55 cities and towns across Massachusetts.
In 2011, Bill was recognized as one of the “Top 25 Public Sector Innovators” by Government Technology magazine; he was also named the New England CIO Innovation Award winner by Mass High Tech. In 2012, Bill was inducted into the CIO Hall of Fame by IDG’s CIO Magazine, and was recognized as a finalist for the MIT Sloan CIO Award for Innovation.
Before moving to local and state government roles, Bill spent more than 20 years in the private sector, culminating in his work as the Senior Vice President & Chief Information Officer for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. Named CIO in June 2000, Bill was responsible for delivery of the company’s global information technology services. In 1996, Bill was inducted into the hospitality industry’s “Technology Hall of Fame” for his vision in applying technology to the business.
A graduate of Boston College, Bill is also an attorney and member of the Massachusetts Bar. He received his JD from Suffolk University Law School in Boston and was awarded his LL.M in Global Technology Law in 2005. A native of the Boston area, Bill is married with two children.