Beleaguered Feds Likely to Lose Personnel Chief Within Two Weeks

OPM

Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry’s term expires in less than two weeks, and he is expected to announce his departure from OPM soon, Government Executive has learned. His exit would come just as federal employees at a number of agencies start to feel the effects of sequestration, including furloughs.

Federal law states the OPM director serves a four-year term. Berry assumed office April 13, 2009. OPM did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Berry is eligible to be re-nominated to the position, but recent media reports have suggested he is likely to become the U.S. ambassador to Australia.

Max Stier, president and CEO of the Partnership for Public Service, a federal employee advocacy group, said Berry’s likely departure would be emblematic of a systemic problem with leadership turnover in government.      

“It’s great that he’s actually spent four years at the job,” Stier said. “But another four would be even better.”

Stier highlighted OPM’s renewed commitment to the annual federal viewpoint survey -- the survey included a record number of participants in 2012 -- and its new Pathways Programs to bring students and recent graduates into government as critical pieces of Berry’s legacy. Stier added Berry would be leaving at a time of “incredible stress” on the federal workforce and his successor must be able to lead, both as the chief talent person across government and as the head of an agency.

“I hope [the replacement] is someone who can do that job, who can really engage the very top leadership across the government, from Cabinet secretaries to the White House,” Stier said. 

The deputy director position at OPM is currently vacant, meaning one of five associate directors stands in line to serve as interim director. Chief Operating Officer Chuck Grimes could also be a candidate to temporarily replace Berry, or President Obama could choose to tap someone outside the agency.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    View
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    View
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    View
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    View
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    View
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    View
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    View

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.