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Project Manager Job Description Led to CIO Role

The candidate: Mary Pedersen

The job: CIO at the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security

Company size: 33,000 first responders serving 4 million citizens in 120 counties

Salary: $64,000 (a pay cut, but I work in my home state and have job security).

Age: 40

How did you get that job, anyway?: My mother worked for the Kentucky governor's office and sent me a job description: a project manager with criminal justice experience. No one is ever looking for that combination. But the job description looked like my resumé. I started as project manager and was promoted.

Education: I have an undergraduate and a graduate degree in criminal justice.

Career: Instead of going to law school, I wound up at Maryland National Bank in Baltimore as a project manager. Then I was a technology VP at Bank of America.

Came back home: When my daughter was born

Next step: For now, I'm staying put.

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