July 2

Watch Now

In a crisis, government communication with citizens must be clear, consistent and broadly available. This session will explore how states and localities are communicating authoritative information about COVID-19 to the news media and directly to citizens to explain evolving conditions and policies, and to counter misinformation. We’ll look at best practices emerging from the pandemic response and what they mean for public sector communication and citizen engagement strategies moving forward. Our panelists will cover:

  • Building and maintaining credibility
  • Effective communication strategies as the nation enters what’s likely to be a protracted recovery
  • Meeting citizen information and engagement demands at the speed of social media
  • Maintaining consistent messaging across multiple platforms
  • Adapting traditional news conferences to social distancing requirements


Rafael Mena

Rafael Mena

CIO, Orange County, Florida

Rafael Mena was appointed as Chief Information Officer by the Orange County Mayor in 2002. For almost two decades since, he has led a talented team of IT professionals who maintain the technology needs for more than 8,000 Orange County employees, operating within the $4.4 billion Orange County budget. His primary goal is to support the Mayor’s vision to make Orange County the “Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow” by creating a community culture of innovation, collaboration, and inclusiveness.

Ervan Rodgers II

Ervan Rodgers II

State Chief Information Officer, Assistant Director, Ohio Department of Administrative Services, Office of Information Technology

Ervan was recently appointed as the State of Ohio’s Chief Information Officer and Assistant Director of the Ohio Department of Administrative Services. As state CIO, Ervan is responsible for the strategic direction and efficient use of information technology across the state and for oversight of state IT activities. Prior to his appointment, Ervan served as the CIO at the Ohio Attorney General’s Office where he focused on developing IT strategies to help better serve and protect Ohioans. Ervan has experience providing IT consulting to global Fortune 100 companies and a successful track record of leading teams and leveraging technology to position companies for growth. This includes hands-on experience with digitizing core business processes, e-business, developing value-added solutions, change management, and mentoring management teams. He served on the board of directors for Ohio Geographically Referenced Information Program, an organization that encourages the creation of digital geographic data of value, State of Ohio CyberOhio advisory board and the Franklin University Cybersecurity and Public Safety advisory board.

Phil Bertolini

Phil Bertolini — Moderator

Co-Executive Director, Center for Digital Government

Phil Bertolini is the Co-executive Director of the Center for Digital Government, a national research and advisory institute on information technology policies and best practices in state and local government. Previously, he served as deputy county executive and CIO for Oakland County, Michigan.

During his 31-year tenure, Phil built a world-class IT organization in the second-largest county in Michigan, just north of Detroit. As Oakland County CIO, he oversaw more than 150 employees serving over 1.2 million residents. In 2005, he was also promoted to deputy county executive, holding dual positions until his retirement.

Phil’s efforts earned the county national attention, winning numerous awards for technology innovation and excellence. He was named one of Governing Magazine’s Public Official of the Year and Government Technology Magazine’s Top 25 Doers, Dreamers & Drivers. He was also honored by the President Obama White House as a Champion of Change for 2012.