Former Wyoming lawmaker will advocate for Geographic Information System industry.

Former Wyoming Governor Jim Geringer has joined ESRI, the top provider of geographic information system (GIS) software. Geringer, a strong advocate for technology in government, completed his second term as governor in January 2003. Prior to the governorship, he served in the Wyoming legislature for 12 years.

"We are delighted to have Jim as a member of our team," says Jack Dangermond, ESRI president. "During his time in office, he championed the benefits of data sharing and enterprisewide solutions. Jim will be a tremendous asset to the GIS industry as he continues his efforts to enhance business and public policy choices with the power of spatial technology."

As a spokesperson for ESRI and the GIS industry, Geringer hopes to spread the message that GIS technology leads to better decision making. "I've always been interested in ways that we can better inform the public and provide for greater involvement by them. My concentration will be in the public sector but, beyond that, I want to help senior executives of every kind understand the power of better decisions with this kind of visualization software," says Geringer. The state of Wyoming has used GIS technology since 1986 for engineering and, under Geringer's leadership, has expanded its use in other areas such as land and wildlife management, social services, transportation, and environmental monitoring. Geringer says the goal of these efforts was to increase communication and data sharing between and among various agencies at different government levels-federal, state, and local-resulting in better management and greater efficiency in government.

Geringer is a past chair of the Western Governors' Association. He has done extensive policy development work for all levels of education and, as governor, has promoted the connection of all Wyoming schools to the Internet and to each other. In addition, he helped the Western Governors' University achieve online status.