PhD, Higher Education Leadership and Public Administration, Jackson State University
MS, Computer Information Systems, Missouri State University
BS, Business Administration and Leadership, Belhaven University
Dr. William (Bill) Rials is a faculty member at the Tulane University School of Professional Advancement Information Technology Program, where he serves as the Associate Director and Professor of Practice. He is committed to incorporating innovative and emerging technologies into the program's curriculum, and has a proven track record of delivering updates to ensure students are well-equipped for the workforce. Dr. Rials is a passionate educator, teaching both graduate and undergraduate courses. His dedication and expertise were recognized in 2016 when he was awarded Distinguished Faculty Honors by Tulane University.
Dr. Rials is a nationally recognized subject matter expert on information technology, cybersecurity, and emerging technology trends. He has gained national recognition for his expertise, and is a sought-after public speaker at various events, including webinars, conferences, and workshops. Dr. Rials is a regular contributor to national media outlets, where he provides insights and analysis on relevant topics. He also serves as a Senior Fellow for the Center for Digital Government. As a senior fellow, he leverages his extensive experience and expertise to provide research, guidance, and thought leadership to public service organizations nationwide, helping them effectively adopt digital government services. His success in support of public service has earned him a well-deserved reputation as a respected practitioner and scholar.
Prior to his academic career, he delivered value to state agencies, local governments, and law enforcement agencies in various executive-level positions, including CIO, CTO, and CISO roles. He also served in leadership positions within state government, including his last position as the State Chief Enterprise Architect and Deputy CIO. In this role, he was responsible for crafting the blueprint for the state's first hybrid cloud strategy and chaired the statewide Chief Information Officers (CIO) council. Dr. Rials government technology leadership has been recognized nationally, including his election as Vice-President of the National Association of State Technology Directors (NASTD) southern region in 2015, and later as president in 2016. In 2017, he was honored with an award as one of the top 50 IT government professionals in the nation by States Scoop magazine. In addition to his academic work, Dr. Rials serves as the principal consultant and Chief Architect for a managed technology service company specializing in delivering cloud solutions to small businesses. He also serves on various national and local technology focused boards.
Dr. Rials military service was with the MS State Guard where he completed Officers Candidate School conducted by the MS Military Department. His military service included working with the Army Assistant Chief of Staff (ACoS) G6 Office performing cybersecurity analysis and training for staff as well can a commander for a military police company(31A). He was awarded the emergency service medal by The Adjutant General (TAG) of the MS National Guard for his service in leading the MP company that was in charge of the joint force headquarters security detail during hurricane Isaac in 2012.