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Senior Vice President and Chief Information & Technology Officer

Therace Risch is senior vice president and chief information & technology officer for American Electric Power. As AEP’s first technology executive focused on enterprise-wide strategy and initiatives, she leads technology initiatives across AEP including information technology, innovation & technology, digital initiatives and telecommunications. AEP’s cybersecurity team and business unit technology teams work closely with Risch.

Prior to joining AEP in May 2020, Risch was executive vice president and chief information officer for JCPenney, where she was responsible for the overall vision, strategic direction, and tactical execution of all of the company’s information technology systems and teams. She was a key leader in the company’s stabilization and turn around by providing new solutions to help the company compete in the rapidly evolving online business environment.

Before joining JCPenney, Risch served as executive vice president and chief information officer at COUNTRY Financial, an insurance and investment services provider. She also spent 10 years at Target Corp. in various technology roles of increasing responsibility, including her last position as vice president of technology delivery services. She began her career with West Publishing, owned by Thomson Reuters Corp., and held several positions with the St. Paul Companies prior to joining Target. 

A native of St. Paul, Minnesota, Risch earned a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Economics from Ripon College in Ripon, Wisconsin. She also completed a pre-MBA education program at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, and attended the U.S. Army War College’s Commandant’s National Security Program as a civilian participant. She is a member of Southern Methodist University’s Information and Operations Management Advisory Board.