Legislative Affairs Liaison, Arkansas Department of Information Systems
While Kristi McKinnon is the legislative liaison and policy coordinator for the Arkansas Department of Information Systems, which is responsible for the state network, telecommunications services and information systems, she is also a member of the Arkansas Electronic Recording Commission. Her career path was not a straight one. She earned an undergraduate degree in criminal justice from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and began the doctoral program at the University of South Florida before changing her direction toward technology.
Her community involvement includes working on the silent auction committee for the 2018 Women of Inspiration Dinner benefiting Children’s Advocacy Centers of Arkansas and as the second district committeewoman for the Pulaski County Republican Committee, where she provides communications support and assistance to campaigns as needed.
She lives in Little Rock with her 10-year-old daughter.
Hometown: Blytheville, Ark.
First job: Server.
Favorite food: Fried chicken and strawberries.
What attracted you most to your career? Technology, technology, technology! I am very passionate about using technology to create efficiencies, reduce our environmental footprint and improve processes, while also working with others to help government function better for all. DIS is actively engaged in all of these efforts and affords me the ability to improve processes and policies that best serve the agency and the state.
What was your first big break? In 2012-2013, I was invited to join the Arkansas County Election Commissions Association’s legislative committee to work on bills for the 89th general session. Not only did this experience lay the groundwork for what I do today, it taught me the importance of listening to the needs of all stakeholders.
What accomplishment are you most proud of? Starting over from scratch is not always easy when you have planned out your entire path. After leaving my doctorate program, I was not sure where my journey would lead. And despite some hiccups along the way, I am here, and what a journey it has been! I am looking forward to seeing where the road veers to next.
What is something others would be surprised to know? I am a little shy in very large group settings.
What do you love most about what you do? I am very passionate about service and community whether through children’s advocacy efforts to handing out candidate fans to families at parades. We all want to continually better our state, which is why active participation through service is where my passion lies.
What quality do you most admire in other women? Resilience.
Personal motto: Can’t is a four letter word.
What talent do you wish you had? Crafting, especially having a 10-year-old girl.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? Maui, Hawaii.