Bush OPM Directors Tapped For Trump’s Management and Budget Transition Team
Kay Coles James and Linda Springer are among several Republicans from government, business, and think tanks who are helping the president-elect’s team prepare to govern.
Two former Office of Personnel Management directors are helping lead the Trump team’s transition efforts at OPM and the Office of Management and Budget.
Kay Coles James and Linda Springer, who both served during the George W. Bush administration, are helping shepherd transition efforts for Republican President-Elect Trump at OPM and OMB, respectively, according to the campaign’s agency transition team organization chart published in Politico on Wednesday. James and Springer are listed under the Management and Budget category on the document, along with former Reagan attorney general and chief of staff Ed Meese, and Paul Winfree, director of the Heritage Foundation’s Institute for Economic Policy.
Meese and James are leading the Management and Budget agency transition work group.
Springer served as OPM director from 2005 to 2008, and helped lead the agency’s efforts to shift the government from a paper-based to an electronic human resources system. Before her tenure at OPM, she was OMB controller and head of the Office of Federal Financial Management. After government, she was an executive director in Ernst and Young’s government and public sector practice, and has been a fellow since 2006 at the National Academy of Public Administration. She publicly endorsed Trump in June, calling him a “proven leader with the strength and determination essential to address the critical challenges our country is facing,” according to a June 22 Politico report. The same story quoted Trump praising Springer as “a leader in federal government management issues” who “understands the need for an effective government that serves its constituents – the citizens of our country.”
James preceded Springer as OPM director, serving from 2001 to 2005, during a period of major transition for the federal government because of the creation of the Homeland Security Department, which merged 22 separate agencies representing 180,000 employees, 15 different basic pay systems and 17 labor unions. The Virginia native also managed the human resources component of the administration’s management agenda, which used scorecards and a grading system to better link agency performance to resources and outcomes, and emphasized pay-for-performance personnel systems for federal workers. James also has worked at the Heritage Foundation, the Family Research Council, and in the George H.W. Bush administration.
When James resigned from OPM in 2005, former National Treasury Employees Union President Colleen Kelley called her “a forthright and honest public servant who showed respect for federal employees, their unions and the work they do.” Kelley said that while NTEU did not always agree with James, “it was a pleasure to work with her.”
The Trump and Clinton camps tapped agency transition team leaders over the summer to work in various areas to liaise with officials currently working inside the agencies in anticipation of the election and the transfer of power. The Trump organization chart lists six subject areas, including management and budget. The others are defense; national security; economic issues; domestic issues; and agency transformation and innovation. For instance, Ken Blackwell, the former Ohio treasurer and secretary of state who unsuccessfully ran as the Republican candidate for Ohio governor in 2006, is heading up the domestic issues team. Michael Meese, a retired Army Brigadier General and the chief operating officer of the American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association, is on the defense team, focusing on veterans affairs.