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Executive Director, Universal Services

Location : Houston, TX
Job Type : Direct
Hours : Full Time
Required Years of Experience : 8
Required Education : Bachelor's Degree
Travel : No
Relocation : No
Job Industry : Government - Civil Service
Job Category : Information Technology

Job Description :

Executive Director, Universal Services (US)

Houston, TX


Our client, Harris County is searching for an experienced, dynamic, and motivated leader to serve as the Executive Director of the Universal Services (US) department and as the Chief Information Officer for the County.  Under the guidance and supervision of Harris County Commissioners Court, the Executive Director of US will oversee the planning, preparation, and implementation of the County’s IT needs.  


The Department’s Mission is to support the mission of Harris County by developing, implementing, and providing high quality, innovative, and cost-effective solutions to Harris County. The Department is comprised of four (4) divisions: Information Technology, Public Safety Technology, Fleet Services, and Business Operations. Universal Services is responsible for providing enterprise class technology services, products, and support to Harris County, and is committed to becoming a national model for delivering sustainable IT solutions to Harris County user departments, residents, and stakeholders.


Overview Of Harris County

Harris County is the third-largest county in the country. Its population of more than 4.5 million rivals that of the entire state of Colorado. Harris County is governed by Harris County Commissioners Court. The Court is composed of a County Judge and four Commissioners. Commissioners Court conducts the general business of the County and oversees financial matters. The County Judge is the County’s chief executive and a voting member of Commissioners Court. According to state statute, the County Judge also is the County’s Director of Emergency Management.


The Harris County Judge and Commissioners oversee a $4.3 billion budget that helps fund key County services and institutions. As the main governing body of Harris County, Commissioners Court plays a critical role that is part administrative, part legislative, and part judicial. Its many responsibilities include adopting a budget; setting tax rates; calling for bond elections; building and maintaining county infrastructure such as roads and bridges; and overseeing county courthouses, jails, libraries, parks, and the Harris County Flood Control District. Harris County currently has more than 75 departments with over 15,000 employees.

Harris County is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace.


Key Responsibilities

The Director will be responsible for the strategic direction of information technology and integration functions for Harris County. The Director will serve as the County's resource for technology guidance and for delivery of technology services, including enhancing the delivery of County programs, services, and resources by leveraging technology. This is a position of public trust; personal integrity and ethics must be beyond reproach.

The Director may also be tasked with the following responsibilities:

  • Oversees and directs the functions of the Department with over 450 staff to achieve departmental goals.

  • Establishes and oversees development and implementation of scalable IT programs and initiatives for HarrisCounty.

  • Manages a secure, modern, and resilient foundation of IT infrastructure, including automated systems development and enhancements; wide area network support; personal computer support; mobile device support, phone system support, internet/intranet communications; networks, servers, data centers, cloud operations; and general management of all applicable software applications. 

  • Oversees establishment of policies, procedures, and strategic plan for Universal Services.

  • Directs the long-term planning, program management, and strategic direction for use of technology around the County.

  • Plans, approves, coordinates, and supervises all activities related to the design, engineering, development, security, implementation, and on-going support of technology solutions for specific areas of responsibility.

  • Provides strong thought leadership and recommendations related to LTE/5G, WiFi, and other emerging technologies; identifies and investigates advanced technologies offering company significant technical and financial benefits; and analyzes various technical solutions and investigates new technology considerations to ensure compatibility and integration with existing computer and network systems.

  • Helps build a County where all residents have the tools, skills, and connectivity to get online.

  • Collaborates with the Department of Economic Equity and Opportunity as well as the Community Services Department to oversee the County’s Broadband Office, which is responsible for development and implementation of a long-term county broadband strategy in coordination with other county departments.

  • Establishes best practices for IT standards for Harris County and meets with County officials and departments regarding future technology and options for Harris County.  

  • Oversees Enterprise Business Solutions, Managed Services, and Enterprise Support Services for Harris County and various outside agencies while ensuring efficiency of product suite and staying up to date with relevant, cutting-edge product offerings.

  • Oversees the integration, as appropriate, of Harris County websites and other communications platforms to ensure consistent navigation and access to public information for Harris County residents.

  • Collaborates with various Harris County Departments to develop, implement, and support software solutions that align with business needs.

  • Supports mission-critical technical infrastructure and apps that enable public safety communication.

  • Manages Security Technology Services for Harris County facilities, law enforcement, and the Houston Ship Channel camera network.

  • Leads and supports procurement and maintenance of Fleet Services for Harris County.

  • Oversees the technological aspects of all supply chain management processes, including procurement, purchasing, analysis, and inventory management throughout Harris County departments and agencies.

  • Develops strategic partnerships with all County stakeholders, including Commissioners Court, County Department Heads and Elected Officials to facilitate and support the County and/or Department’s objectives, particularly as it relates to the enhanced delivery of County programs, services, and resources by leveraging technology.

  • Plans, prepares, proposes, and manages operating and capital budgets for the Universal Services Department.

  • Oversees the services provided to other County departments on new/existing projects ensuring these projects are targeted to improve efficiency and effectiveness.

  • Supports the millions of digital interactions constituents have with the County government each year by creating web and mobile experiences that are friendly, accessible, and useful.

  • Develops and maintains a culture of excellent customer service for both internal clients (elected officials, department heads, and County staff) and external clients (Harris County residents broadly)

  • Improves the quality of government service delivery through the collection, analysis, and sharing of data, and the application of data to operations and business process design. Prioritizes projects and data sharing for internal and external publishing in support of transparency and quality improvement of disparities in Harris County.

  • Supports Commissioners Court and Department Heads and Elected Officials in execution of Harris County’s mission, vision and goals, particularly as it relates to the enhanced delivery of County programs, services, and resources by leveraging technology.

  • Perform any additional duties as delineated by Commissioners Court related to the objectives of theDepartment.

Required Qualifications :


  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.

  • Eight (8) years’ experience in the Information Technology field, working with various services, equipment, and applications.

  • Minimum of three (3) to five (5) years professional experience with direct oversight of a large technology operation. At least three (3) of those years with a delineated progression in job responsibilities, including related to decision-making, and IT initiatives.

  • A combination of education, training, certification, and experience will be evaluated on an individual basis for comparability to the minimum education and experience requirements.

Knowledge, Skills, And Abilities 

  • Strong leadership characteristics and communication skills, and the ability to apply them effectively to organizational development and improvement.

  • Extensive knowledge of the data processing industry along with its technology.

  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically, and to consider issues and relationships relevant to achieving long-range goals or vision.

  • Demonstrated ability in applying critical thinking, logic, and reasoning to think effectively through problems and information.

  • Excellent organizational and managerial skills, including the ability to effectively prioritize and manage multiple tasks/initiatives.

  • Ability to communicate effectively and accurately in written and oral form and to build productive relationships and deal tactfully with all levels of department personnel. 

  • Demonstrated ability to set priorities, establish clear expectations and execute identified projects.

  • Strong track record of delivering excellent customer service, preferably in the context of a multi-stakeholder setting.

  • High capacity for change management in a large organizational structure.

  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively to drive results.

  • Ability to understand complex issues quickly and communicate them succinctly.

  • Ability to work quickly, flexibly, and accurately to meet deadlines independently with long periods of relative autonomy, and sometimes under pressure. 

Strongly Preferred

  • Graduate degree in a related field from an accredited university.

  • Minimum five (5) years’ management experience in the direct oversight of a large technology operation.

  • Minimum four (4) years’ experience in local government information technology. 

  • Experience leading and implementing IT initiatives in the workplace. Experience and understanding of how local governments operate.

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