Bush taps new OPM director

President Bush nominated Michael Hager to be the next head of the Office of Personnel Management on Friday.

The nomination, the White House said, would be "for a term of four years."

Hager has a long history in human resources management in the public and private sectors. He currently serves as assistant secretary for human resources and administration at the Veterans Affairs Department, a position he has held since November 2007.

Hager also was senior vice president for human resources at federally chartered mortgage buyer Freddie Mac. Between his stints at Freddie Mac and VA, he was associate administrator in the Office of Capital Access at the Small Business Administration, where he managed a variety of investment programs.

During a 15-year stint at Banc One Corp., Hager oversaw a large hiring wave like the one projected to hit the federal government in the coming years as baby boomers retire. The Columbus, Ohio-based holding company, which has since merged with JPMorgan Chase, expanded from 7,000 to 50,000 employees during Hager's tenure.

During Senate confirmation hearings for his current post, Hager emphasized his commitment to a performance-based culture, a major theme of departing OPM Administrator Linda Springer. At the time, Democratic Senator Daniel Akaka, who chairs the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee that will consider Hager's nomination to head OPM, praised his human resources background and management experience.

Springer will depart for the private sector, joining Ernst & Young's government and public sector advisory services practice as an executive director on Aug. 13.

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