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Former GSA Chief Now a Novelist

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Since the scandal over lavish conference spending jolted the General Services Administration a year ago, many have wondered what Martha Johnson, the GSA administrator who abruptly resigned, has been up to.

The answer is: Writing. Johnson has self-published a first novel, In Our Midst. Here's how the book's website describes the story:

Stanton, Indiana, in 1990, is a town in which people love their kids, joke with their mayor, attend church, and support the Wood Carving Festival. But, one boy is growing up with a secret that he unknowingly shares with another son of the community, a soldier in the Korean War who died the day he came home.

Johnson, a veteran of CSC Corp. who worked for both the Clinton and Obama administrations, was vigorously leading GSA in efficiency initiatives such as telecommuting and innovative office design when she was caught up in the scandal involving overspending on conferences by some at GSA’s Public Buildings Service.

Johnson has since hung out a shingle as a public speaker on leadership issues. She does not mention GSA in her author’s bio, which says she has delivered more than 50 public speeches on topics that include sustainability, leadership, and government effectiveness. “She has been featured repeatedly in the press,” the bio adds, “and has testified before the U.S. Congress.”

Charlie Clark joined Government Executive in the fall of 2009. He has been on staff at The Washington Post, Congressional Quarterly, National Journal, Time-Life Books, Tax Analysts, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, and the National Center on Education and the Economy. He has written or edited online news, daily news stories, long features, wire copy, magazines, books and organizational media strategies.

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