Lial Knight

Lial Knight


Accomplished leader of Information Technology with a record of achievement in designing, managing and leading technology planning functions in the technology, manufacturing, pharmaceutical and education industries. Extensive background and experience in driving business systems integration, technology services consolidation, project planning and implementation, and technology architecture, engineering and support services for national and international business operations. Proven success in developing innovative technical solutions to business challenges. Thrive in demanding and challenging work environments. Capable IT business leader, effective strategist, process architect and problem solver, financial analyst and change agent. IT Strategy • Strategic Planning • Data Migration/Application Consolidation and Conversions • Offshore/Near shore Development and Support • Mergers and Acquisitions • Computer Operations and Data Center Implementation and Operations • Team Building and Leadership • Six Sigma • Operational Process Streamlining • Process and System Re-Engineering • Outsourcing Cost Control / Reductions • Recruiting and Hiring • Call Center Design and Service Management • Disaster Recovery Planning • Network Optimization and Administration • Technology Applications Deployment • Project Management • Infrastructure Application Development • Technology Roadmap Development • Budget Management • Staff Training and Leadership Coaching • IT Security • Regulatory Compliance.

Work History

Work History
2011 - 2012

VP, Information Technology

Kaplan, Incorporated

Initiated IT shared services consolidation in 2011 to improve several business and technology shared services departments to improve expense management, drive productivity and cost efficiencies, and gain consistent and repeatable people, process, and technology methodologies.  Led combined shared services (SS) technology operations functions for all Kaplan business lines reporting to Kaplan IT SS CIO.  Directed transformation and consolidation of business line technology operations of disparate multiple-business-line IT operations.  Key outcomes and measures included cost optimization, IT business process standardization, offshore network operations and service desk partner adoption and migration, systems and application stability improvement, measures and metrics improvement, disaster recovery process implementation for critical applications gaps, and directory and identity management services.  Principal sponsor and team leader of Kaplan migration to Google application for Kaplan enterprise and custom implementation and transition of Kaplan students to Google applications suite.  Responsible for divestiture management and transition of business lines services.  Member of global CIO council and IT operations board for all Kaplan and Washington Post IT functions.

2007 - 2011

VP, Technology Operations

Kaplan Higher Education

Promoted to Vice Present reporting to CIO to design and enable business growth involving venture business development, business acquisitions, and advancing educational services for online and on-the-ground educational services.  Supervised team of five leaders and over 130 indirect employees.  Selectively acquired, led, and managed in-sourced departmental functional teams, including networks, telephony, contact centers, applications development and support, data center architecture, engineering, operations, student and employee service desks, field services, real estate IT project management, document processing and imaging, and data security, privacy, and compliance of 130+ indirect reports.  Teams included desktop, thin client engineering, and field support workers; data center architecture engineering and support workers; service desk workers; network, telephony, and contact center experts; and other project managers and teams as needed for technology refresh and IT business service and process improvement.  Support services were designed to deliver 99.99% uptime for 100,000 students and 15,000 employees using fully redundant infrastructure services in Chicago data center and disaster recovery center in Florida.

2005 - 2007

Executive Director, Technology Operations

Kaplan Higher Education

Hired as senior IT leader to build departments capable of supporting growth strategy involving acquisitions as well as online and on-the-ground educational services expansion.  Managed team leads and managers of over 75 indirect employees.  Selectively acquired skilled leaders and managers to create and manage custom off-the-shelf applications services, data center services, networks, and unified centralized shared services field services team in support of IT services under VP of Technology.  Consolidated and built departmental functional teams including: networks, applications development and support, data center engineering, operations, field services, and document processing and imaging teams of 75+ indirect reports.  Team included desktop, engineering, and field support workers; data center engineering and support workers; and network, telephony, and other project managers.  Designed, operated, and systematically improved service applications, data center, network, and field support services to deliver 99.99% uptime for 50,000 students and 11,000 employees.

2000 - 2005

Director, Global Information Technology and Engineering

Pfizer Pharmaceutical

Served as Director, Global Information Technology and Engineering of R&D global IT centers, managing three corporate data centers for Pfizer's global R&D operation, including managing data centers in Ann Arbor and Kalamazoo, Michigan and Alameda, California.  Responsible for all operations at 60+-employee, $24,000,000-budget data centers, including technology services utilizing Windows/Linux/Unix systems, Oracle systems, and Microsoft SQL DBMS systems in support of innovative end user systems and applications supporting Fortune 10 corporation’s drug discovery and development operations.

1983 - 2000

Technical Consultant/Data Center Director


Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis, New York, Technical Consultant/Data Center Director, 1999-2000.  Director of R&D IT center, managing single corporate R&D data center for Warner-Lambert ethical pharmaceutical R&D operation at Ann Arbor, Michigan location.  Responsible for all operations at 30+-employee, $12,000,000-budget data center.

Technical Consultant, 1996-1999.  Senior technology leader in charge of network technology for R&D and business operations for Warner-Lambert ethical pharmaceutical R&D, employed at Ann Arbor, Michigan location.  Responsible for network architecture, design, and operations for Warner-Lambert Corporation.

Network Planning Manager, Supervisor, Analyst Positions, 1988-1996.  Managed network technology for R&D and business operations for Warner-Lambert ethical pharmaceutical R&D, employed at Ann Arbor, Michigan location.  Responsible for network engineering and operations for Warner-Lambert Corporation.

Systems and Programmer Analyst, 1983-1988.  Held responsibility for designing and coding data capture and data collection instrumentation for laboratory to computer database data collection in support technology for R&D and business operations for Warner-Lambert ethical pharmaceutical R&D, employed at Ann Arbor, Michigan location.  Responsible for building equipment, coding applications to interface laboratory systems, and creating automated links in support of automating transfer of data from real-time laboratory systems.

1981 - 1983

Systems and Programmer Analyst

Holcroft Industrial Manufacturing

Holcroft Industrial Manufacturing, Livonia, Michigan, Systems and Programmer Analyst Position, 1981-1983  Managed all technology systems for global heat treatment furnace design company.  Individually designed and coding data analysis applications for heat treatment processes.

1979 - 1981

Field Services Analyst


Hewlett-Packard, Farmington Hills, Michigan, Field Services Analyst, 1979-1981.  Responsible for systems software installation and management, hardware break/fix, and general preventative care of systems, storage, and printer devices.  Managed and supported Hewlett-Packard scientific computer systems





Computer & Business

  SDLC   Vendor Management   IT Strategy   Enterprise Architecture   Process Improvement   Project Management   Business Analysis   Software Project Management   Agile Methodologies   Program Management   IT Management   PMP   Capital Budgeting   Operating Budgets   Department Budgeting   Cloud Computing   Network Design  



Six Sigma Green Belt Certified

Kaplan Continuing Education