Deputy director begins work at OPM

Christine Griffin was confirmed five months ago, but starts this week; former EEOC commissioner to lead diversity efforts.

More than five months after she was confirmed by the Senate as deputy director of the Office of Personnel Management, Christine Griffin this week begins her new post overseeing federal personnel issues.

"I am very pleased to be able to work with Christine on important issues that directly affect the federal government and its workforce," OPM Director John Berry said in a statement. "She brings a wealth of knowledge, as well as life experience, about how to create a workforce that can handle whatever challenge it is given."

Currently, Griffin is acting vice chairwoman of EEOC. She has served on the commission since 2006 and her initial term expired on July 1, 2009. The Senate confirmed Griffin for her new role at OPM on July 31.

A wheelchair user and labor and employment law expert, Griffin has been a forceful advocate for federal hiring of workers with disabilities, something she has said could provide a model to help overcome discrimination against disabled employees in the private sector. Berry has said that when Griffin arrived at OPM he would tap her to head the agency's effort to reform federal diversity programs and hiring.

"I am grateful to President Obama and Director Berry for this exciting opportunity to work with the fabulous team at OPM," Griffin said in a statement.

There already are two vacancies at EEOC, and Griffin's departure to OPM will open up a third. President Obama nominated Jacqueline Berrien to head the commission in July, and Chai Feldblum to one of the open seats in September. Neither they, nor David Lopez, Obama's October pick to be the commission's general counsel, have been confirmed. Stuart Ishimaru is acting as the commission's chairman.

"We're hopeful that'll happen soon," an EEOC spokesman said.