Meet the Guy Working to Modernize State Technology Systems


SALEM — Remember the ‘green screens’ of computers past? It’s hard to believe that any of those systems still exist in today’s digital, technology-focused era — but numerous Oregon state government systems use software that run on those 30-year old ‘green screens.’ Terrence Woods, Oregon’s newly appointed Chief Information Officer is charged to fix that.

“People are at the forefront for me,” says Woods about modernizing Oregon state government’s technology systems. “Oregonians rely on many of the services our agencies provide through technology. They rely on us to be efficient.”

State government technology systems provide many services, from registering at the DMV to signing up for health care or obtaining a hunting license. Woods says that while a lot of Oregon’s systems are stable, many that have been around for decades just aren’t as efficient as they could be; very simply, they don’t take into account processes that were even possible 10 years ago.

Woods says people are on the forefront of his work, given that many Oregonians rely on services that agencies provide through technology.

“There’s been an evolution of technology that we can’t take advantage of if we don’t modernize our systems,” says Woods. “Also, as we modernize our systems, agencies will be able to extract more data to report out in a better way — ultimately increasing government transparency.”

Governor Brown Appoints Woods

Governor Kate Brown appointed Woods as State Chief Information Officer in December, noting his instrumental role in developing a roadmap for Oregon state government’s IT work.

“I look forward to Terrence’s continued leadership in providing reliable, resilient, and secure information technology systems and services,” said Governor Brown.

Woods, a self-described “avid gamer,” says he has been able to turn a hobby into an amazing career. And working in the heart of Oregon’s state government, rings near and dear to him — Woods is a graduate of North Salem High School, which is a stone’s throw away from his office near the State Capitol. It’s a nice reminder of the journey that took him from Salem to an Information Systems degree from Portland State and a Master’s degree from Gonzaga University for higher education, and then back home.

“I’m honored to do this work for Oregon. I get my energy from people and systems, and pushing the two together. So here we go…”

About Author

Natalie King serves on the Communications Team with the Office of Governor Kate Brown.

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