Karen W. Robinson
Chief Information Officer
The State of Texas
Karen W. Robinson serves as the Executive Director for the Texas Department of Information Resources. As Texas’ Chief Information Officer, she has statewide authority over information and communications technology planning, procurement, and service delivery. She leads an agency that manages information technology (IT) for more than 4,400 publicly-funded entities and operates the state’s IT Security, Communications Technology Services, Cooperative Contracts, Data Center Services, and award-winning Texas.gov — the Official Website for the State of Texas.
Ms. Robinson brings more than 35 years of government and private sector experience to the post. Her expertise is in creating and building high-performing teams and getting the job done. Before joining DIR, Robinson served as the Director of Administration and Technology to Governor Rick Perry. She also served as a Technical Advisor to former Texas Governor George W. Bush as well as to the Lt. Governor’s Office and the Texas State Senate. She coordinated the state’s technology needs during crisis relief efforts and was instrumental in launching the state’s official business web portal.
Currently, Karen serves as Chair of the Texas CIO Academy, Chair of Government Technology Southwest Conference, and 2012 governing body co-chair of the Dallas CIO Executive Summit. She was recently selected by IDG’s Computerworld as a 2012 Premier 100 IT Leader, spotlighting leaders from technology and business for their exceptional technology leadership and innovative approaches to business challenges.
Karen also volunteers for the Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo (STFR) in its annual Off the Vine and Rodeo Gala event. The annual STFR Gala raises funds for college scholarships awarded to deserving Texas students. As one of Central Texas’ largest non-profit providers, the Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo proudly presented $442,000 in college scholarships to 46 students in 2011.
Carl D. Marsh
Chief Operating Officer
As Chief Operating Officer for DIR, Carl Marsh leads the technology operations and service functions within DIR. These functions include Communications Technology Services, Technology Program Management, Technology Center of Operations, Technology Sourcing Office and E-Government. His vision is to deliver customized and flexible technology services to meet critical customer needs as well as to partner with customers in delivering technology solutions to the citizens of Texas.
Carl began his career with DIR in April 2010 as the Director of Communications Technology Services Division and worked to execute the latest TEX-AN reprocurement while building a team focused on delivering technology solutions built around the customer.
He has extensive experience in information and communications technology in the private sector, where he has held senior executive positions for a variety of major communications companies. He is highly experienced in designing, implementing, and operating nationwide wired and wireless networks, hosted and managed services, and shared technical infrastructure.
Carl holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in business management and communications from Southeastern Oklahoma State University.
Chief Administrative Officer
Lori Person serves as the agency’s Chief Administrative Officer. She is responsible for guiding the agency’s sunset activities in addition to internal and external communications and human resources. During her career, Lori has specialized in governmental relations, strategic planning, federal and state reporting, and agency sunset review activities.
Lori has served the State of Texas in a variety of positions for over 22 years. She served as a legislative liaison for the Texas Senate and worked in state agency planning and government relations in the Office of Public Insurance Counsel, Texas Workforce Commission, Texas Department of Insurance, Office of the Attorney General, and the Texas Youth Commission.
Lori is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin.
Chief Financial Officer
Nick Villalpando is DIR’s Chief Financial Officer. Nick, a Certified Public Accountant, joined DIR’s finance division in May 2010. In April 2011 Nick accepted the position of DIR Interim Chief Financial Officer and was then promoted to Chief Financial Officer. Nick is responsible for leading DIR’s finance, budget, and accounting functions. His responsibilities include ensuring that DIR fees are set at levels consistent with cost-recovery principles.
Nick earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting degree and a Master in Professional Accounting degree from The University of Texas at Austin.
Martin H. Zelinsky, J.D.
Martin Zelinsky serves as the General Counsel for the Texas Department of Information Resources. He is responsible for providing legal services to all operational and administrative divisions in the agency. Martin has specialized in technology procurement and information security-related matters.
Martin previously served as Assistant General Counsel at the Health and Human Services Commission, responsible for technology-related contracting. Before entering public service for the State of Texas, Martin served as corporate counsel in the wireless telecommunications and natural gas pipeline industries.
Martin has given presentations on procurement, technology and information security issues at various state agencies and forums, and served as an Adjunct Professor at St. Edwards University teaching classes on “Wireless Networking” in the MCIS and MBA graduate programs. He is currently serving as chair of the State Agency Coordinating Committee (SACC) – Legal Affairs Subcommittee for the FY 2012/13 biennium.
Martin is a graduate of South Texas College of Law and Rice University.