Christian Carlson is currently responsible for leading Esri's global customer base in the state and local government sector.
For over two decades, Carlson has leveraged his knowledge of geographic information system (GIS) technology, geography, and data to transform the way governments, commercial organizations, and utilities do business. His work in connecting technology and technology innovations to business requirements has been a catalyst in establishing what is now a pervasive use of GIS in government. Today, Carlson is actively involved in applying GIS capabilities to global initiatives including smart cities, resiliency, citizen engagement, and high-performance government.
During his more than 20 years at Esri, Carlson has worked in virtually all GIS domains and supported implementations covering multiple major innovation cycles, ranging from on-premises client servers to today's distributed cloud environment. He has capitalized on the geographic nature of government operations and decision-making to evolve the role of GIS from a niche discipline to a standard IT capability integrated across organizational workflows—a true decision support system that enhances organization efficiency and effectiveness.
Through this work, Carlson has developed insight into how the convergence of rapid technology advancement and information acquisition is changing the workflows, organizational capabilities, service delivery, and accountability of knowledge workers and constituents.
Prior to coming to Esri, Carlson worked for the State of North Carolina Division of Coastal Management as a GIS analyst. He collected and analyzed data, supporting multiple program initiatives including delineating coastal wetlands and determining the cumulative impacts of pollution and runoff in North Carolina's coastal waterways.
He earned a master of business administration degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and two bachelor of arts degrees (in geography and economics) from the University of Colorado–Boulder. His graduate studies focused on corporate finance, entrepreneurship, organizational leadership, change management, and innovation.
Carlson currently serves on the board of directors for Austin CityUP, the largest smart-city consortium of companies, organizations, and individuals in the United States. These participants have come together to collaborate on activities that advance Austin, Texas, through digital technologies, data collection, analytics, and modeling.
Outside of work, his passions include climbing mountains, running on trails, riding bikes, and standing in rivers.