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DorobekINSIDER: GSA spokesman Sahar Wali leaving to go green

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GSA’s chief spokesperson, Sahar Wali, is going to be leaving the agency. She will be joining the White House Council of Environmental Quality as their communications director next month, the DorobekINSIDER has confirmed.

Wali has roots on Capitol Hill and she worked on the Obama campaign. She joined GSA soon after the election and has been part of GSA’s top management team. Speaking personally, she has been a fierce defender of GSA.

GSA Administrator Martha Johnson, in a note to staff today, said, “Sahar has done a very important job in building and publicizing our GSA brand, in accelerating and improving our methods and practices for communicating internally and externally, and in helping us support the White House on key initiatives such as Sustainability, Open Government, and much more.  She has also been a tremendous coach to those of us who have been giving speeches and interviews and working with the press. GSA can stand tall and taller every day because more people hear and understand the story of GSA and how we are fulfilling our mission.  We will greatly miss her skill, tenacity, and sense of excellence.”

Read the full note from Martha Johnson below:

It is with very mixed feelings that I have accepted Sahar Wali’s resignation as our Associate Administrator for Communications and Marketing.  She has been offered the great opportunity to join the White House Council of Environmental Quality as their Director of Communications, beginning in mid-November.

On the one hand, Sahar is not going far.  Our relationship with CEQ is a special one.  They are great supporters and partners with us on our Zero Environmental Footprint goals and aspirations. Sahar will be simply helping us from a new vantage point and perspective. She knows our work well.

On the other hand, Sahar has done a very important job in building and publicizing our GSA brand, in accelerating and improving our methods and practices for communicating internally and externally, and in helping us support the White House on key initiatives such as Sustainability, Open Government, and much more.  She has also been a tremendous coach to those of us who have been giving speeches and interviews and working with the press. GSA can stand tall and taller every day because more people hear and understand the story of GSA and how we are fulfilling our mission.  We will greatly miss her skill, tenacity, and sense of excellence.

As this transition takes place, we will be working closely with the White House to appoint a new person to head GSA’s strategic communications efforts.  We will also be continuing the work she led in re-organizing the Office of Communications and Marketing.

Please join me in wishing Sahar the best in her next challenge and in asking her to come by and visit us often.  Like daily?

Martha

Written by cdorobek

October 6, 2010 at 11:42 AM

DorobekINSIDER: GSA names Taylor as Assistant Commissioner for FAS Acquisition Management

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On the heels of a number of management changed made official yesterday, Steve Kempf, the commissioner of GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service, has named Houston Taylor as the assistant commissioner for the Office of Acquisition Management.

Taylor has been serving in that post in an acting capacity. Previously he Previously Mr. Taylor served as the Director of the Program Analysis Division, were he championed and managed the FAS Environmental Program.

As the assistant commissioner of FAS Acquisition Management, he oversees the direction in planning, organizing and managing major functional areas including Acquisition Career Field Management, Policy Implementation, Socio-Economic Programs, Program Analysis, Supplier Management, and the Federal Supply Schedules Program.

Listen to his speech at the Coalition for Government Procurement conference earlier this year.

The memo from Kempf:

Hello,

I am pleased to announce that Houston Taylor, who has been the Acting Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Acquisition Management, has agreed to permanently fill this role.  In this role Houston will continue to direct FAS acquisition policy initiatives such as socioeconomic and environmental programs and support GSA’s goals through improved acquisition policy management throughout FAS.  His career experience in acquisition, serving both civilian and defense department organizations, will serve him well as he leads the FAS Acquisition Management team.

Please join me in congratulating Houston as he permanently takes over this leadership role.  His energy, commitment to service and collaborative approach to building business solutions that work for FAS and its customers will help him continue to make an impact for FAS.

Steve

Taylor’s bio:

Houston Taylor is the Acting Assistant Commissioner of the Federal Acquisition Service’s Office of Acquisition Management, with full authority and shared responsibility for direction in planning, organizing and managing major functional areas including Acquisition Career Field Management, Policy Implementation, Socio-Economic Programs, Program Analysis, Supplier Management, and the Federal Supply Schedules Program.  Previously Mr. Taylor served as the Director of the Program Analysis Division, were he championed and managed the FAS Environmental Program, working in direct support of the General Services Administration’s commitment to providing “green” options for Federal customers while leading the way in environmentally friendly acquisition practices.  Mr. Taylor started his career with GSA as the Director of the Center for Services Acquisition, where he was responsible for managing the Financial and Business Solutions Schedule, a program that exceeded one billion dollars in sales under his leadership.

He brings more than 25 years of procurement and contract management experience to the agency.  Mr. Taylor retired from active duty with the U.S. Air Force in 2000.  His assignments included tours in Turkey, the United Kingdom, the Air Force Inspection Agency, and Operation Provide Comfort, where he worked as a contingency contracting officer in Southern Turkey and Northern Iraq.  In his final assignment he worked at the Pentagon for the Deputy Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Air Force as the contracting career field manager.  Additional highlights of his extensive government career include service as a contracting professional within the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Postal Service.

Mr. Taylor holds a Graduate Certificate from the University of Virginia in Procurement and Contracts Management, along with an undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland.  He is also a Level III-Certified Contracting Officer and a Certified Federal Contracts Manager.

Mr. Taylor is a native of Canton, Ohio.

Written by cdorobek

September 17, 2010 at 12:43 PM

DorobekINSIDER: GSA leadership changes: Lovelace, Costa, Piatt

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A number of leadership changes at the General Services Administration.

GSA Administrator Martha Johnson has announced that Gail Lovelace, who has served as the chief people officer for the General Services Administration, will be taking a newly created job as GSA’s chief leadership officer.

Lovelace

Gail Lovelace

“I have been deliberately attending to succession planning, strategic alignment, and performance management of the agency leadership since my confirmation,” Johnson said in a memo to staff.  “Gail has helped shape those activities and will continue to build on them.  This move will also signal beyond the walls of GSA that we are intent upon holding our place as a pace-setter for the government in matters of fostering and strengthening public sector leadership.”

Lovelace is widely respected in government, particularly in the HR community, and has been recognized for her work on the Bush-Obama transition.

Replacing Lovelace as GSA’s chief people officer will be Tony Costa, who has spent most of his 25 year career at GSA with the Public Building Service.

In addition, Bill Piatt is moving from the Office of Technology Strategy to the GSA Administrator’s office. He will assume the work that Tony has been championing, namely GSA’s use of the social media and open government tools that our Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies is promulgating across government

The memo from Johnson sent out today:

From: Administrator Martha Johnson
Subject: Exciting Leadership Movement

It is my pleasure to announce a couple of exciting leadership moves here at
GSA.

To begin, Gail Lovelace will be moving to my office to assume the role of Chief Leadership Officer on December 1.  For the past 13 years Gail has served as the Chief People Officer.  She and I have worked very closely together for years, and I am personally thrilled to have her join me in building and strengthening our leadership cadre. I have been deliberately attending to succession planning, strategic alignment, and performance management of the agency leadership since my confirmation.  Gail has helped shape those activities and will continue to build on them.  This move will also signal beyond the walls of GSA that we are intent upon holding our place as a pace-setter for the government in matters of fostering and strengthening public sector leadership.

In conjunction with Gail’s move, I have asked Tony Costa to step in as the Chief People Officer.  Tony brings customer knowledge, strategic business perspective, operational experience, and, perhaps most importantly, change management chops.  While most of his 25 year career at GSA has been with the Public Building Service – both Regional and at Central Office – Tony is
willing to step into a new challenge in the “C-Suite.”  It is not an easy thing to follow a leader such as Gail Lovelace who has in many ways defined Human Resources for GSA, but I have confidence that Tony will do a great job at the helm of the CPO’s office.  I am equally confident that such moves are good for our leaders and good for the organization as a whole. They break down our silos and send the signal that we want people to try new things and build out their knowledge of the full enterprise.

Finally, Bill Piatt will move from the Office of Technology Strategy to my office and will assume the work that Tony has been championing, namely GSA’s use of the social media and open government tools that our Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies is promulgating across government.  Bill recently returned to GSA and brings great experience in IT leadership and progressive IT tools.  I know that he will hit the ground running, and I am excited about the energy that he will bring to these important enterprise-wide efforts.

GSA is going through a lot of change.  These leaders have deep experience in GSA and share a passion for our mission and collective success.  As they change roles, they are modeling change as leaders.  Please join me in thanking them for their service and supporting them in these new challenges.

Best regards,
Martha

Written by cdorobek

September 16, 2010 at 3:35 PM

DorobekINSIDER: Tamela Riggs named GSA FAS assistant commissioner

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Some changes at GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service. Tamela “Tami” Riggs will move from GSA’s Public Building Service and has been named to the post of Assistant Commissioner, Office of Customer Accounts and Research for GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service.

Riggs will replace Gary Feit, who has announced that he is retiring next spring.

Here is the note from GSA Administrator Martha Johnson:

From:  Administrator Martha Johnson
Re: A Move That Counts

I am happy to announce today that Tamela Riggs will be assuming the position of Assistant Commissioner, Office of Customer Accounts and Research in the Federal Acquisition Service (FAS).

This move is significant in a number of ways.  First, Gary Feit who has held that position will be retiring next spring.  We want to avoid the discontinuity that occurs when we wait for a position to be vacant before beginning the process of filling it.  Therefore, we are allowing for an overlap so that Gary can help Tami as she steps into the position.  This is an important aspect of succession management, creating an appropriate overlap so institutional memory isn’t lost and the organization is not caught in leadership limbo.

Second, Tami is moving from PBS to FAS.  I can’t emphasize enough the value I place on all of our executives holding a GSA enterprise perspective.  Having experience in various service or staff offices enriches a leader’s perspective, builds networks, and demonstrates an eagerness and ability to change.

Hurray to Tami — and others — who are willing to make such moves.   Their actions speak louder than all the words we can puff about change.

Congratulations to Tami on the move and let’s all look for opportunities to continue to model the message of change.

Martha

And the message sent to FAS Staff from Steve Kempf:

Subject: FAS Leadership Announcements

Hello FAS,

I am pleased to announce several additions and changes in GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service leadership team.

Gary Feit will be joining the FAS Commissioner’s staff as a Senior Advisor to the Deputy Commissioner.  In this role, he will reach out to industry associations, top officials at customer agencies and other stakeholders to improve the quality and effectiveness of FAS programs. Gary has held many positions throughout his GSA career – in the Regions, in various business portfolios and most recently as FAS Assistant Commissioner for Customer Accounts and Research.  He has extensive experience managing customer relationships through training and business outreach initiatives including the GSA Expo.  His deep understanding and thorough knowledge of FAS programs gives him a valuable perspective that will be useful in this new role.

Tami Riggs will be joining the FAS team as the Assistant Commissioner for Customer Accounts and Research.  Most recently, Tami has served GSA’s Public Buildings Service as the Acting Assistant Commissioner for Organizational Resources where she successfully planned and implemented business strategies to meet GSA customer needs.  She has a deep knowledge of both FAS and PBS business portfolios, having worked in each organization during her career.  Tami has a proven track record which will help her be successful in deepening FAS relationships with our customers.

Marty Jennings will join the FAS General Supplies and Services Portfolio as the Deputy Assistant Commissioner.  Marty has over 35 years of government experience, serving in the U.S. Army and most recently as Director of Logistics at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  His leadership and program management skills gained from his career as a soldier and as an officer, combined with his expertise in logistics, prepare him well to assist leading the GSS Portfolio employees and programs to future success.

Please join me in congratulating Gary, Tami, and Marty as they undertake these leadership roles in FAS.  Their spirit of service, commitment to innovative thinking and collaborative approach to building business solutions that work for customers will help FAS shape its future and ensure many years.

Written by cdorobek

September 8, 2010 at 5:14 PM

DorobekINSIDER: GSA hires ConnellyWork’s Kelly Olson

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Kelly Olson, a vice president at ConnellyWorks, the Fairfax, VA based PR, marketing and events company, is joining the General Services Administration, the DorobekINSIDER has learned.

Olson joined ConnellyWorks 14 months ago after her tenure at the Industry Advisory Council and the American Council for Technology.

Kelly Olson

At GSA, she will serve as the director for strategic initiatives and program outreach for GSA’s Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies. The official announcement will come on Wednesday.

Olson will report to Martha Dorris, the Deputy Associate Administrator of GSA’s Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies.

Olson is widely respected as somebody who gets gov 2.0.

Her job description is below:

Kelly Olson, Director, Strategic Initiatives & Program Outreach, Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies (OCSIT), General Services Administration (GSA)

Position Reports to: Martha Dorris, Deputy Associate Administrator, Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies (OCSIT), General Services Administration (GSA)

The OCSIT serves citizens and fosters public engagement through the use of innovative technologies to connect citizens to government information and services. As part of this effort, OCSIT runs the award-winning USA.gov and GobiernoUSA.gov, the official websites of the federal government. The office is rapidly becoming a leader in the use of new media and Web 2.0 technologies to bring government to citizens and citizens to government. Through its use of the Internet (i.e., websites and new media), call centers, publications, and other programs, OCSIT facilitates more than 200 million citizen touchpoints a year.  OCSIT is also facilitating government-wide capabilities to support the President’s Open Government Directive, such as idea management and challenge solutions.  OCSIT is responsible for many of the eGovernment initiatives, including Data.gov, Challenge.gov, citizen engagement platform, FedSpace, Mobile Apps, Federal Cloud Computing Initiative.

Focus Area:  Within OCSIT, the Office of Citizen Services’ (OCS) primary goal is to ensure that the public has a unified experience when accessing information from the government from the web. OCS’ products and services enable other Federal agencies to provide information to the public through the sharing of best practices, a government-wide contract for contact center solutions, and education in the Web and contact center arena. OCS is currently leading the federal government in creating tools and processes for engaging the public through online dialogs to inform the government on improving business processes and services. They work closely with other government agencies—federal, state, local, and international—to collect and consolidate information and make it available to the public and share experiences that lead to better solutions.  OCS leverages several interagency groups to share best practices and develop strategies for improving the way we provide services to the American public.  These include CIOs from five nations (US, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada) as well as Federal Web Managers Council and the Contact Center Leaders.  OCS works closely with the White House and the Office of Management and Budget to improve the service the government provides to the public.

Key Responsibilities:  Kelly will directly support Martha Dorris, the Deputy Associate Administrator of the Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies (OCSIT). She will be responsible for developing and managing outreach and communications to federal agencies who need the OCSIT’s products and services.  She will work collaboratively with the GSA’s Office of Citizen Services, New Media & Citizen Engagement and Innovative Technology teams to ensure the office’s mission is communicated effectively, both internally and externally.

Kelly will also work closely with GSA’s Director of Global Government Innovation Networks to support an international community of e-government officials that foster the exchange of information, share best practices and promote collaboration across all levels of government.

Written by cdorobek

August 31, 2010 at 4:21 PM

DorobekINSIDER: IRS’s Doone named GSA CFO

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GSA Administrator Martha Johnson has filled one of her key leadership vacancies naming Alison Doone to be the agency’s chief financial officer.

Doone currently is the IRS CFO.

She fills the vacancy that was created in May when Johnson announced that Kathleen Turco, GSA’s current chief financial officer, will lead GSA’s Office of Governmentwide Policy.

She starts at GSA on September 26.

The memo from Johnson to GSA staff:

MEMORANDUM FOR ALL EMPLOYEES

FROM: Administrator Martha Johnson

SUBJECT: New Chief Financial Officer

As we continue to make important leadership transitions to better leverage GSA’s position, I am happy to announce that effective September 26 Alison Doone will join the GSA team as our Chief Financial Officer (CFO), a key leadership position for the agency.

Alison comes to us from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and has a sterling record of public service. Over the past twenty years, she has held executive positions as CFO of the Federal Election Commission, Deputy Assistant Administrator of the Office of Finance at the Drug Enforcement Agency, and most recently as the CFO of the IRS where she oversees the  financial management and accounting operations for a $12 billion budget and $2.3 trillion in tax revenue.

As we rise to meet the bold agenda that the White House has given us, Alison’s proven record of increasing efficiency and financial responsibility will help propel GSA forward to deliver on our major initiatives.

I would like to extend my sincere thanks to Micah Cheatham who has served us well as Acting CFO and will be returning to his permanent position in the Office of the CFO as GSA’s Budget Director.

Please join me in welcoming Alison to her new position, and in thanking Micah for his service.

Sincerely,

Martha

Written by cdorobek

August 25, 2010 at 4:45 PM

DorobekINSIDER: Kempf named to head GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service

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Steve Kempf has been named to lead GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service.

Kempf has been serving the acting commissioner of GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service since the departure of Jim Williams in April.

GSA's Kempf

The Federal Acquisition Service is the big buyer for government. It oversees contracts such as the GSA schedule contracts, the multi-billion dollar Alliant contract, and the Networx telecommunications contract.

There were four finalists for the FAS job. Kempf was seen as the front-runner. That surprised that GSA Administrator Martha Johnson would select Kempf, selecting somebody from inside the organization.

That being said, Kempf is well respected both within the procurement community, in industry, and within GSA. And he won high praise for his performance at a recent hearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight, which focused on the number of government multiple-award contracts.

In addition to naming Kempf as FAS commissioner, Johnson also announced that Jon Jordan will become the permanent deputy commissioner.

“Jon has worked in GSA and FAS’ budget programs for over 36 years and his deep operational knowledge, commitment to excellence and good stewardship of taxpayer dollars will be invaluable to FAS’ future,” Johnson said in a note to staff.

Here is the note Johnson sent to GSA staff:

To:  GSA Employees
From: Administrator Martha Johnson
Subject: FAS Commissioner Announcement

Many of you have heard me speak of this as GSA’s moment. We have set aggressive goals and been challenged to play a leading role in key Administration priorities by the White House. We are on the frontline for championing sustainability, open government, acquisition performance, flexible workplace and more. Leadership and enterprise positioning will be key to our success.

Therefore, I am delighted to announce today that Steve Kempf has accepted my offer to be the next Commissioner of GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service, one of our most critical leadership positions.

As GSA steps forward, so, too, will FAS be facing a challenge. FAS has expertise, operational know-how, and extensive customer knowledge. Used well, these will position FAS to gain further market credibility by offering customer agencies real value as they strive to meet their missions under constrained resources.  This opportunity is real, and it is now.

At this critical juncture in FAS’ history and as an 18 year veteran of FAS, Steve brings significant expertise to the Commissioner role having served as a contracting officer, lawyer, and business professional. Equally as impressive is Steve’s leadership style. He is collaborative, inclusive and
eager for change. I am confident that Steve will combine his deep roots, loyalty, and enthusiasm for FAS and transform it into our customers’ hands down, preferred, acquisition partner.

For starters, Steve has already made strides in:

•     Revitalizing FAS’ relationships with its customers;
•     Appointing an executive to champion innovation and transformation across FAS;
•     Driving forward on the Zero Environmental Footprint goal and other key enterprise objectives;
•     Building leadership prowess and a workforce positioned for success;
•     Completing and executing the FAS strategic reviews and implementation plans for key programs;
•     Deepening change management capacity; and
•     Communicating constantly with employees, customers, industry, and stakeholders to bolster FAS’ ability to perform with excellence.

In addition, I am delighted to announce that Jon Jordan will become the permanent Deputy Commissioner. Jon has worked in GSA and FAS’ budget programs for over 36 years and his deep operational knowledge, commitment to excellence and good stewardship of taxpayer dollars will be invaluable to FAS’ future.

Please join me in congratulating both Steve and Jon on their permanent appointments and pledge to give them the support they and FAS will need to turbo-charge its future.

Written by cdorobek

July 13, 2010 at 11:22 AM