McGarrah Selected Interim Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer
James "Jim" McGarrah has agreed to serve as interim vice president for Information Technology and chief information officer (CIO) at Georgia Tech. A U.S. Navy veteran and former chief of staff for the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), McGarrah will assume the interim role July 15 and provide leadership for the Office of Information Technology in coming months.
McGarrah’s selection comes after a formal search led by James Fortner, interim executive vice president for Administration and Finance, and Mark Demyanek, interim senior vice president for Administration. Members of OIT leadership were also instrumental in the interview process. They include: Cas D’Angelo, associate vice president for Information Technology and chief operating officer; Jimmy Lummis, chief information security officer; David Leonard, director of Academic and Research Technologies; Dwayne Palmer, senior director of IT Governance and Planning; Jim Pete, deputy CIO of Campus Services ITG; and Melanie Megenity, director of OIT Resource Management.
“We are pleased to welcome Jim back to Georgia Tech,” said Demyanek. “His leadership will be essential to helping continue operations and delivering on key projects underway at the Institute.”
The primary focus of the interim CIO role is to support current leaders and subject matter experts in continuing to deliver core IT services to the Institute; and to implement important strategic projects currently in-flight such as ERP systems, CAR action items, and support of the Coda Data Center. The OIT leadership council will continue to serve a critical role, working in concert with McGarrah to guide operations and initiatives during this interim period. A national search for the permanent VP and CIO will be launched during the latter half of Fiscal Year 2020.
“I am very excited about returning to Georgia Tech,” McGarrah said. “My connections here go back to my days in the mechanical engineering graduate program in 1978 and include almost nine years with GTRI. I really look forward to rejoining and serving the Institute. I hope to apply my background and experience in industry, government, and the Navy to help both the IT organization and Georgia Tech continue to grow and flourish as one of the premier institutions in the nation and the world.”
A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy with a B.S. in mechanical engineering, McGarrah served in both the active and reserve components of the U.S. Navy for 33 years. He retired as a rear admiral in 2006. While in the Navy Reserve, McGarrah worked more than 24 years in the telecommunications industry with Southern Bell, BellSouth, and Cingular Wireless, focusing on networks, fiber optics, and wireless communications. In 2008, McGarrah joined GTRI as director of the Information and Communications Laboratory and was later selected to serve as chief of staff for GTRI until 2017. McGarrah holds a master’s degree in human resource management from Pepperdine University and a master’s in mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech. He is also a registered professional engineer in the state of Georgia.