Biden Names a Czar for Federal Workforce and Agency Performance Issues
Pam Coleman will lead efforts to "empower and rebuild the federal workforce."
President Biden has tapped an Obama administration veteran and personnel expert to serve as czar within the White House on issues related to the federal workforce and agency performance.
Pam Coleman will serve as associate director for performance management within the Office of Management and Budget. Coleman previously worked as director of the state personnel office in New Mexico under Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D, and on the Biden transition as a member of the Homeland Security Department agency review team. During the Obama administration, Coleman served in several roles at the Presidential Personnel Office, including as the first leadership development team lead.
“The Biden-Harris administration has made it a priority to protect, empower and rebuild the federal workforce, and Pam will play a vital role in this urgent task,” an OMB spokesperson said. “A respected and dedicated public servant with significant government experience, Pam is well-equipped to help restore trust with the tremendously talented federal civil workforce and ensure our government works for all Americans.”
Biden has spoken frequently of the need to restore faith in the civil service, accusing the Trump administration of cultivating an adversarial relationship with the federal workforce to the detriment of the public. The new president has undone Trump policies that diminished federal union authorities and threatened to erase civil service protections. Biden told workers at the State Department last week he would always have their backs, and plans to visit more federal agencies this week.
Coleman will replace Peter Warren, who previously held the position under Trump. Her predecessors have typically led efforts to boost the use and transparency of performance data across government. Coleman’s appointment was first reported by The Washington Post.
Shelley Metzenbaum, who held the job during the Obama administration, called Coleman's appointment "very promising," praising her personnel background and familiarity with government.
"The Biden-Harris team will unfortunately need to pay serious attention to restoring the capacity and integrity of the federal government’s personnel agencies so seriously battered these past four years," Metzenbaum said. She added she expects Coleman to tap into data analytics to modernize personnel and management issues, and to break down silos that have historically created impediments both internally and externally at OMB.
Biden has tapped Neera Tanden, former head of the think tank Center for American Progress, to lead OMB, and Jason Miller to serve as her deputy director for management. Tanden will have two confirmation hearings this week, while committee action has not yet been scheduled for Miller. Coleman's appointment does not require congressional action.