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Jay Anania

State
Jay Anania

Chief Information Officer

In the mid-1980s, Jay Anania was in Mexico, getting Americans out of jail. A veteran of the Foreign Service, he began his career as a consular and management officer handling visas in Tijuana. Now, 21 years and six overseas posts later, Anania manages the vast network of information systems his successors use in Tijuana-and all over the world. As the State Department's acting chief information officer since March, Anania is charged with making sure State uses the smartest technology to do its job safely and efficiently in this country and abroad. In his post as acting CIO, he's responsible for coordinating the overall support services not only for American embassies overseas, but for all U.S. agencies abroad. "State is everywhere," Anania says.

It seems Anania himself has been everywhere since he joined the Foreign Service. In addition to Mexico, the Silver Spring, Md., native also has worked at posts in Hong Kong, Berlin, Abu Dhabi, Havana and Amman. In 2002, he returned to the Washington area to take a job at headquarters as director of State's Office of Management Policy.

Anania, who believes CIOs are increasingly viewed more as business managers and less as techies, helped realign the Bureau of Information Resource Management to hew to the goals of the President's Management Agenda. In 2003, he established and led the department's Office of Rightsizing the U.S. Government Overseas Presence.

Despite the unwieldy title, Anania says "rightsizing" refers to streamlining State's overseas operations, and in many instances, relocating those operations to the United States, which can be cheaper for the government and less dangerous for employees. State also is using technology to expand and refine its telecommuting program for employees, he says-not just as a perk but as a necessity with such a strong presence abroad.