Keynote Speaker

Hardik Bhatt Picture

Hardik Bhatt
CIO and Secretary, Innovation & Technology
State of Illinois

As a cabinet member of Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner’s administration, Hardik is the Secretary of Department of Innovation and Technology and the State CIO. Hardik leads 21st century digital transformation of Illinois with a team of 2,500 employees and consultants with over $1B of budget, including a fiber services P&L with 6,000 customers.

Before joining Illinois, Hardik was Senior Director with Cisco and lead Global business development of Internet of Everything for public sector. He worked with global leaders in 40 cities (Barcelona, Rio, Copenhagen, Jakarta, Dubai, San Francisco, Chicago, Hamburg, etc.) across 19 countries to extract value by connecting public assets, with a $120M overlay sales responsibility.

Prior to that, Hardik was the CIO for the City of Chicago and Commissioner for Department of Innovation and Technology with a team of 300+ and a budget of over $200M. Apart from managing technology for the City, Hardik built and lead the Smart Chicago program, and founded two non-profits - Smart Chicago Collaborative and ChiTech Academy, a 9-12 grade technology high school.

Prior to that, Hardik worked with Oracle Corporation in the US as a Senior Consultant and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) in India as a Systems Analyst.

Hardik is an investing member of Hyde Park Angels, an angel investment partnership. He is on the board of Xaptum, a Chicago IoT Startup. He is also on the board of UCSN, a Chicago charter school network, with 16 elementary and high schools. He also serves as an advisory board member for Illinois Treasurer’s $220M Technology and Innovation investment Fund.

Hardik has an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management and a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda, India.