Kemp appoints first Black women to lead Georgia revenue, technology agencies

Robyn Crittenden has been named the state's new commissioner of revenue. She becomes the first Black woman to hold that post.
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Robyn Crittenden has been named the state's new commissioner of revenue. She becomes the first Black woman to hold that post.

The state’s revenue and technology agencies will be headed by Black women for the first time, Gov. Brian Kemp announced Thursday.

Kemp said Robyn Crittenden will be the new state revenue commissioner, replacing David Curry, who resigned to run for Congress. Frank O’Connell had served as interim commissioner the past few weeks. Crittenden is the first Black Georgian to run the Department of Revenue.

Crittenden has served as commissioner of the Georgia Department of Human Services, which runs several social service programs, and she served briefly as secretary of state after Kemp resigned that job following his win in the November 2018 gubernatorial election. She also was chief operating officer of the Georgia Student Finance Commission.

Shawnzia Thomas will become the new executive director of the Georgia Technology Authority, making her the state’s new chief information officer. She has been assistant deputy commissioner of the DHS, and she previously served as executive director of the Georgia Commission on Equal Opportunity and head of the Georgia secretary of state’s corporations division. She will be the first Black woman to fill the chief information officer’s job.

Kemp also announced Jessica Simmons will be deputy chief information officer for broadband and special projects at the Technology Authority. She has been deputy commissioner for the Department of Revenue overseeing the Legal Affairs and Tax Policy Division. Simmons will oversee broadband development and other infrastructure projects.