Covered California Names Kevin Cornish Its New Chief Information Officer

Cornish comes to Covered California from the Office of the President at the University of California, where he served as its chief technology officer.

Cornish brings 31 years of technology-related experience with him and will be responsible for Covered California’s information technology strategy as the head of the Information Technology division.

Cornish replaces the retiring Karen Ruiz, who helped launch Covered California and has led the agency’s Information Technology division since May of 2013.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — On Monday, Covered California announced the appointment of Kevin Cornish as the agency’s new chief information officer (CIO).

As the CIO, Cornish will be responsible for the overall design, development and execution of Covered California’s information technology strategy. The CIO provides executive leadership over complex enterprise-wide business information technology solutions within a consumer-facing sales environment. Cornish will also represent Covered California’s information technology initiatives with stakeholders, including state and federal government agencies, vendors, health insurance companies and other users of the systems.

“Kevin has spent more than three decades helping organizations build and expand their information technology infrastructure,” said Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee. “His knowledge, experience and passion will serve us well as Covered California continues its efforts to use technology to make health care work better for consumers and to support our team in serving millions of Californians.”

Cornish has 31 years of experience in the field, coming to the exchange from the Office of the President at the University of California, where he was its chief technology officer since August of 2017. Earlier in his career, as the vice president of the IT Infrastructure Program at Kaiser Permanente, Cornish helped lead a multibillion-dollar initiative to remediate and transform the technology foundation supporting Kaiser’s integrated health care delivery model.

Cornish will be replacing the retiring Karen Ruiz, who began her service with Covered California as the CalHEERS project director in May of 2013, helping build the enrollment portal at from the ground up along with joint-venture partners from the Department of Health Care Services, Office of Systems Integration and Accenture. She became the agency’s chief information officer in March of 2015 and was named CIO of the Year in 2019 by the Public Sector CIO Academy Awards for her outstanding leadership and innovation.

Cornish graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Information Processing from the University of California, San Diego in 1988. He worked for private software companies until 2010 before joining Kaiser Permanente and then the University of California, Berkeley as the CIO of the Haas School of Business in 2014. He will earn $260,000 annually, effective Aug. 1, 2020.

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