Coast Guard names executive to new acquisition job

The Coast Guard on Tuesday named a senior executive to fill a new position to lead and strengthen acquisition efforts.

Claire Grady will assume the job of senior procurement executive and head of contracting activity in July. She is currently the director of strategic initiatives in the Homeland Security Department's central procurement office, and previously worked for the Navy. She has 16 years of government acquisition experience.

The announcement is the latest in a series of moves to reorganize the way contracts are handled at the Coast Guard. The changes were ordered by Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen, in response to criticism over the management of Deepwater, the service's massive modernization program.

Coast Guard spokesman Cmdr. Jeff Carter said the creation of Grady's position was a "direct response to Adm. Allen's commitment to strengthening the acquisition corps in the Coast Guard."

Carter also said the job has been in the works for a year, and is not a reaction to legislation introduced in the House last week that would require the Coast Guard to restructure the Deepwater program to reduce its reliance on contractors. The service announced in April that it plans to take control of the project, which had been managed by a team of large defense contractors.

While recently appointed Rear Adm. Ronald Rábago will be in charge of Deepwater specifically, all procurement activity will flow through Grady starting next month, Carter said.

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