Virginia picks a new CIO

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George Coulter, a Northern Virginia IT executive, was selected today to serve as the Chief Information Officer of the Virginia Information Technologies Agency, or VITA. He was approved on a 5-1 vote by the Information Technology Investment Board, which oversees VITA.

Coulter of Loudoun County, whose name was not among a pool of three finalists going into today’s meeting, comes at a tumultuous time for VITA. The state is demanding better performance from Northrop Grumman on execution of a $10-year, $2.3 billion contract to manage the state’s information technology systems.

Coulter’s predecessor, Lemuel C. Stewart Jr., was fired in June after he suggested withholding a $14 million monthly payment to Northrop Grumman. Serving as interim chief was Leonard Pomata, Virginia’s Secretary of Technology. He drew criticism and later an attorney general’s opinion for simultaneously holding both posts — a scenario deemed illegal last week in the opinion.

Before today’s appointment, Coulter worked as chief information officer for San Diego-based Solera Holdings. It provides software and claims processing services for the automobile insurance industry. He also has served as CIO of Arlington-based AES, a global power company.

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