General Services Administration
Emily W. Murphy
Chief Acquisition Officer
Emily W. Murphy became the government's central buying agency's central buyer at a time of great upheaval. The General Services Administration, rocked by scandals in some of its regional offices where employees had flouted procurement rules, is dramatically restructuring operations, combining supply and technology shops into a central Federal Acquisition Service.
Appointed chief acquisition officer in February, Murphy is in charge of GSA's Get It Right program, aimed at making sure the agency's buyers follow the rules when helping federal agencies purchase hundreds of billions of dollars in services and products each year. Launched after scandals came to light, the effort includes training for GSA's acquisition workforce, clarification of purchasing policies and working with the inspector general on procurement reviews. "We're making good progress on this initiative and strengthening our ability to get the best value for the taxpayer," Murphy told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee's Federal Financial Management Subcommittee in July.
In conjunction with Get It Right, Murphy is pushing buyers to increase competition for contracts and reduce the number that go over budget or are late. As GSA rights its procurement ship, she'll have plenty of eyes upon her, including those of Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., the new chairman of the financial management panel.
Murphy's previous focus was on small business, having served as senior adviser for government buying and business development and acting associate administrator for government contracting at the Small Business Administration. Before that, she was an attorney specializing in government contracts at the Washington-based law firm of Wiley Rein and Fielding. A native of St. Louis, Murphy graduated from Smith College in 1995 and the University of Virginia Law School in 2001.