Gopal Khanna

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Gopal Khanna
Gopal Khanna
Gopal Khanna
1st Chief Information Officer for the State of Minnesota
In office
15 August 2005 – 15 December 2010
Governor Tim Pawlenty
Succeeded by Carolyn Parnell
Personal details
Born Gopal Khanna
Bikaner, India
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Anjali Khanna
Children Rohini Khanna
Rohun Khanna
Residence Edina, Minnesota
Alma mater

St. Francis College, India (HS)
Christ Church College, India (BA)

University of Maine, USA (MBA)
Salary $120,000[1]
Religion Hindu

Gopal Khanna was appointed Minnesota's first Chief information officer (CIO) by Governor Tim Pawlenty on August 15, 2005, and reappointed January 2, 2007. Announcing that Khanna would be leaving his post effective December 15, 2010, Governor Pawlenty said that Khanna "is a nationally recognized visionary with a tireless commitment and passion for good government. Gopal has led our efforts to manage information technology as an enterprise program and leveraged public-private partnerships to make government more efficient, effective, and citizen-centric".[2] Prior to his departure, Khanna served as the Lead Co-Chair of the 19 member Minnesota Commission on Service Innovation (CSI), created through a bi-partisan legislation authored by State Senator (D) Terri Bonoff and State Representative (R) Keith Downey, with the charter to submit to the Minnesota legislature recommendations on "a strategic plan to reengineer the delivery of state and local government services, including the realignment of service delivery by region and proximity, the use of new technologies, shared facilities, centralized information technologies, and other means of improving efficiency.".[3] Additionally, Khanna served as a member of Health Information Technology (HIT) Policy & Standards Committees’ Enrollment Workgroup, chaired by President Obama’s Chief Technology Officer at The White House, which was tasked to develop a set of standards to facilitate enrollment in federal and state health and human services programs.[4]

Prior to assuming his position in the Governor's Cabinet, Khanna served in the administration of President George W. Bush from June 2002 through August 2005, where he held several senior policy positions including CIO and CFO of the Peace Corps[5] and CFO of the EOP/Office of Administration.[6]

Industry Leadership[edit]

As the President of the National Association of State CIOs (NASCIO), Khanna was an advocate for enhanced cyber security,[7] as well as green IT initiatives.[8]

Cyber-attacks are fast becoming the most serious threat our country faces. In light of this ominous direction, Gopal Khanna is deeply committed to bolstering Minnesota's and the nation’s capabilities to prevent a major cyber-attack. As he is strongly passionate about this topic, he is Co-Founder of the Cyber Security Summit 2012 and served as the chair of the Summit from 2011 to 2013, and is a member of the Advisory Board. For two days, public and private sector leaders meet to identify dangers and brainstorm innovative solutions at Cyber Security Summit in Minneapolis, MN. Khanna's vision for the Cyber Security Summit is to establish a multi-stakeholder consortium that brings together industry, government and academic interests in an effort to improve the state of cyber security on both a domestic and international level, noting that cyber security cannot be contained and outsourced to any one sector. Khanna also states that due to the vast scope of cyber threats, it requires active engagement of all stakeholders, including entities and organizations – large and small - across every industry [1].

Minnesota State CIO[edit]

Governor Tim Pawlenty appointed Gopal Khana as the first Chief Information Officer for the State of Minnesota in August 2005.[9] In this role, Khanna developed technology innovations to streamline government and enhance collaboration among business and government entities.[10] The move to move to an outsourced solution shortly before leaving office was questioned by Informationweek.[11] Shortly after his appointment, Khanna was interviewed by Twin Cities Business Magazine and cited many problems he believed were facing Minnesota’s IT infrastructure, including “an aging state government workforce and younger tech-savvy who want faster services”. In order to combat these problems, Khanna instituted the following:

  • The Minnesota Information and Telecommunications Technology Systems and Services Master Plan in 2007 which acted as a comprehensive plan for all of Minnesota’s information resources; the three pillars of which were consolidating and improving systems, improving efficiency and functionality of common activities, and increasing the security underlying the state’s electronic capabilities.[12]
  • The IT Funding Strategies for 21st Century report (2008) which sought “to inform policy makers of the need to create IT funding strategies that are needed urgently to facilitate and manage” Minnesota’s information priorities. It also advocated for “flexible and creative approaches to funding business and technological change” in order to “supplement traditional funding methods”.[13]
  • The Enterprise Security Strategic Plan (2009) outlined methods to control and protect Minnesota’s information assets, and a five-year vision with 19 strategic objectives that were grouped into three categories: Improved situational awareness; proactive risk management; and robust crisis and security incident management.[14]
  • The Minnesota iGov report (2009) updated implementation and best practices outlined to meet the goals outlined in the Master Plan while taking into account the state’s fiscal challenges. It had 3 main tenets: citizens have expectations of data and services that are secure, accessible in real time, and locally available; information is one of the state’s most important assets; the act of consolidating IT systems is an opportunity to improve fundamental business operations.[15]
  • In September 2010, in an effort to deliver technology services as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible, the State of Minnesota’s Office of Enterprise Technology signed a groundbreaking enterprise-wide cloud-computing service agreement with Microsoft - being one of the first states to do so.[16]
  • Collaboration initiatives, like those outlined in StateTech Magazine in their Dec 09/Jan 10 issue, worked to “conquer storage woes with storage area networks rollouts, state of the art emergency operations centers, and arraignments conducted via video conferencing” and partner with neighbor states to reduce costs while tackling tough hurdles.[17]

The Department of Revenue did not renew its contract for services from the Office of Enterprise Technology. Quality issues were acknowledged during a State House Legislative hearing.[18] In September 2008 Khanna was elected by other state CIOs to be the President of the National Associoation of State CIOs.[19][20]

U.S. Peace Corps[edit]

Served as Senior Foreign Service (SFS) level policy advisor to the Director of the Peace Corps on matters related to agency planning, congressional appropriations, budget strategizing, and directed all the information technology functions for the organization’s worldwide operations. As CIO, provided leadership and oversight for the agency’s worldwide IT operations and modernization of systems in support of agency’s mission. As CFO, led the implementation of a new, integrated, highly complex financial management system, with ORACLE at the backend, for the agency’s domestic offices and overseas operations in 72 countries, thereby providing a scalable platform to support the organization’s growth in the 21st century and fulfilling congressionally mandated financial reporting requirements, including submission to the United States Congress on November 15, 2004 the first set of audited financial statements in agency’s 43-year history. ([2] The Peace Corps Performance and Accountability Report)

Private Sector Career[edit]

International Technology Consultants, Inc.[edit]

From 1996 to 2002, Khanna was president and CEO of International Technology Consultants, Inc., a Minneapolis-based IT and Management Consulting firm providing services to Fortune 1000 companies.

American Hardware Insurance Group[edit]

From 1990 to 1996, he was with the American Hardware Insurance Group, a Minneapolis-based property and casualty insurance group, where he held several positions including vice president of operations, vice president of systems, and vice president of information technology and administration.

National Council on Compensation Insurance[edit]

From 1981 to 1990, he was with the National Council on Compensation Insurance in Boca Raton, Florida, where he held several positions including director of operations and director of strategic planning. Prior to that, Khanna lived in New York City where he held positions in marketing, sales management, merchandising, and corporate training and development with the MONY Financial Services Group.[21]

Civic and community engagement[edit]

Khanna served former Minnesota Governor Arne Carlson from 1993-1994 as his appointee to the Minnesota Academic Excellence Foundation.

In 2007, Khanna travelled with Governor Tim Pawlenty as a member of a Minnesota Trade Delegation to India and visited sites in Delhi, Bangalore, and Mumbai opening trade opportunities between Minnesota and India.[22]

Early years and Education[edit]

A citizen of the United States of America, Gopal Khanna was born and raised in India. He hails from a family whose patriarch Rai Saheb Ganesh Prashad settled in Kanpur, India after his retirement form service in the Indian Railways during the British Raj. Gopal Khanna received his early education in a boarding school at St. Francis College in Lucknow, India. Khanna was a member of school cricket, hockey, soccer, and debating teams. Gopal Khanna earned his Bachelor of Arts degree with concentration in Economics, Mathematics, and Political Science from Christ Church College, Kanpur, India. He then pursued his higher education at the Graduate School of Business at the University of Maine where he earned his MBA.[21]

Awards and Recognition[edit]

  • Gopal Khanna has been selected as a 2011 Premier 100 IT Leaders honoree by IDG's Computerworld. The Premier 100 spotlights leaders from both the technology and business sides of companies for their exceptional technology leadership, innovative ideas to business challenges and effectively managed IT strategies.[23]
  • In 2010, Khanna was named by Twin Cities Business Magazine as one of "200 Minnesotans You Should Know". The article sought to highlight "People who shape your world, whether you recognize it or not—people who come up in casual discussions, who frame points of view, whose very names form points of reference"[24][25]
  • InformationWeek named Khanna to their 2010 list of Global Top 50 CIOs[26] InformationWeek "set out to identify top technology leaders at all levels of government who are embracing and responding to these new expectations"[27]
  • Khanna was a recipient of the 2009 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers award given by Government Technology Magazine for being a "new kind of public CIO -- one who adroitly blends public- and private-sector service, IT know-how and modern business management skills to create a more dynamic role within government."[28][29]
  • Recipient of Federal 100 Award for impact and innovation in a government agency in 2009.

Selected articles[edit]

Talks and Interviews[edit]


  1. ^ Gopal Khanna New Minnesota State CIO Jul 27, 2005
  2. ^ "Minnesota's First CIO, Gopal Khanna, to Resign in December". September 15, 2010. 
  4. ^ Archived from the original on January 10, 2011.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ "KHANNA APPONITED CIO OF THE PEACE CORPS". June 29, 2002. Archived from the original on July 19, 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-21. 
  6. ^ "Indian-American appointed CFO of White House". The Times Of India. May 6, 2005. Retrieved 2011-03-21. 
  7. ^ "Khanna's open letter to media on Cyber Security" (PDF). September 16, 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 26, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Greening as Part of Overall IT Strategy". 
  9. ^ "Gopal Khanna appointed Minnesota CIO". 
  10. ^ "In historic first, State of Minnesota moves to Microsoft Cloud". Archived from the original on 2010-09-30. 
  11. ^ "State CIOs Head for the Exits". 
  12. ^ "State of Minnesota Information and Telecommunications Technology Systems and Services Master Plan 2007" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-19. 
  13. ^ "IT Funding Strategies for the 21st Century: Building a comprehensive array of investment tools" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-19. 
  14. ^ "Enterprise Security Strategic Plan – 2009" (PDF). 
  15. ^ "Minnesota iGov: A report by the State CIO Gopal Khanna" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-19. 
  16. ^ "In Historic First, State of Minnesota Moves to Microsoft Cloud". Archived from the original on 2010-09-30. 
  17. ^ "Banding Together: Government IT leaders bust through jurisdictional boundaries to share services and drive cost efficiencies". 
  18. ^ "State of Minnesota Government House Finance Committee Meeting". February 2, 2011. 
  19. ^ "Khanna Elected NASCIO President, Association Officers Also Named". Archived from the original on 2011-07-26. 
  20. ^ "NASCIO Elects Minnesota CIO Gopal Khanna as New President". December 28, 2008. 
  21. ^ a b "How I Got Here: Gopal Khanna". July 20, 2009. 
  22. ^ "Pawlenty impresses Indian business leaders". 
  23. ^ "ComputerWorld names Gopal Khanna to Premier 100". 
  24. ^ "200 Minnesotans You Should Know - Gopal Khanna". [permanent dead link]
  25. ^ "200 Minnesotans You Should Know". 
  26. ^ "The Government CIO 50: Driving Change In The Public Sector". 
  27. ^ "Global Top 50 CIOs". 
  28. ^ "2009 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers". 
  29. ^ "Gopal Khanna: NASCIO President Represents New Breed of Public CIO". 

External links[edit]