HARTFORD, CT — A graduate of the Yale University School of Business Management and a technology executive, Josh Geballe was nominated Friday by Gov. Ned Lamont to head the Department of Administrative Services.
Geballe’s background includes positions at Thermo Fisher Scientific, Core Informatics, and vice president of technology business services at IBM.
Aside from contracting for all the goods and services state government uses, Geballe will be tasked with modernizing Connecticut’s information technology systems and procurement processes.
In introducing Geballe at a Capitol press conference Friday, Lamont said he will be tasked with getting the 24 legacy computer systems at the various agencies to get those integrated and into the cloud so they can share information and data.
Lamont said they also expect “thousands and thousands” of retirements in the next few years and Geballe is the ideal candidate to make sure they are hiring people with the IT skills Connecticut needs. Lamont insisted it would be done collaboratively with labor.
“I’ve dedicated my professional life to trying to figure out how technology can make the world better,” Geballe said.
He said as an executive at these companies he’s seen how modern software and data analytics can improve the world.
He said at Core Informatics, a software start-up in Branford, he helped scientists identify new therapeutics to treat cancer and other terrible diseases.
Geballe’s salary will be $175,000 a year. He will replace DAS Commissioner Melody A. Currey, who was a state lawmaker and mayor of East Hartford before being appointed to the post by former Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.
Lamont said he wanted someone with who has already done what DAS needs to do in the private sector.
“That’s an experience that’s really relevant to a department that needs to be brought into the 21st century,” Lamont said.
He said Geballe will be able to work through what makes “state government unique.”
But beyond information technology, the agency with 663 employees and a $121 million budget is largely in charge of contracting for state services.
“Secondly, we really have to upgrade how we contract,” Lamont said. “We have to centralize that. We have to make sure it’s done electronically.”
Lamont said they also want to help towns access state purchasing discounts.
“The Department of Administrative Services is the backbone of the core functions of our state government and it must be a key player in our administration’s efforts to streamline and reengineer how state government serves Connecticut’s taxpayers,” Lamont said. “Josh will bring a proven private-sector approach to the business of state government, particularly through his experience working in high-tech industries that are transforming how companies function and serve their customers.”
Geballe may never have worked in politics, aside from a stint as U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro’s campaign manager years ago, but he’s also no stranger to it.
Geballe’s mother, Shelley Geballe, co-founded Connecticut Voices for Children, an advocacy organization that’s active in the public policy arena. She served as president of that organization from 1997 to October 2008. She’s also a lawyer and professor of public health at Yale and a founding member of the CT Mirror. Geballe’s father, Gordon, is an associate dean at Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Sciences.