Obama Asks Acting GSA Chief to Stay On Permanently

Caitlin Fairchild/GovExec.com

This story has been updated. 

President Obama on Wednesday said he is naming acting General Services Administration head Dan Tangherlini to take the post permanently, and to continue the reforms he has led since the agency was tarnished by the 2012 scandal over lavish spending a Las Vegas training conference.

“As acting director, Dan helped restore the trust of the American people in the General Services Administration by making the agency more efficient, accountable and transparent,” Obama said in a statement. “I want to thank Dan for his leadership over the past year and for agreeing to continue serving in the administration."

Tangherlini previously served as chief financial officer at the Treasury Department and assistant secretary for management from 2009 to 2012. Before that, he was District of Columbia city administrator and deputy mayor from 2006 to 2009.

His agenda at GSA has included a top-to-bottom review of GSA management, canceled bonuses for executives, pressing forward with sales of excess federal properties and solicitation of ideas for efficiencies from employees and the public.

Tangherlini “had a great track record before assuming the role of GSA's acting administrator, he has led them well through difficult times, and has earned the nomination,” Jim Williams, a longtime federal executive who was acting GSA administrator in 2008, told Government Executive. “His challenges going forward will be to ensure GSA has the best people that are motivated to help accomplish the president's management agenda and to help the departments and agencies at all levels of government accomplish their mission in a budget-constrained environment and, at the same time, help them transition to new ways of accomplishing that mission with innovative products and services in the areas of space, mobility, network services, acquisition vehicles, and shared services.”

Stan Soloway, president and CEO of the Professional Services Council, said Tangherlini has “a lot of deep government experience, and it is important that GSA have a fully approved head, not just an acting head so it can move forward.” He has a lot on his plate, Soloway added, citing GSA’s future business model and how it adapts to changes in the contractor market.

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