GTSI exec takes Iraq post

GTSI Corp. executive Joe Draham has temporarily left the company to serve in Iraq with the Coalition Provisional Authority.

Draham, who stepped down Nov. 28 from his corporate post as vice president of government relations and congressional affairs, has been named as a counselor to the Coalition Provisional Authority's new chief operating officer, Keith Kellogg.

Draham is leaving today for the war-torn Middle Eastern country, where he will carry out high-level special assignments and provide advice regarding the reconstruction and humanitarian efforts there.

GTSI's board granted Draham a six-month leave of absence, and will extend it if Draham needs more time, said chief executive officer Dendy Young. "Joe has told us he's only going to be away for three months. We're not sure we believe that," Young said.

Draham is an Air Force veteran who was in Iraq during the Gulf War of 1991 on Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf's staff. Kellogg, a retired Army lieutenant general, asked Draham to come back to Baghdad, Young said.

"To some extent he's highly qualified because he has done this before. On the other hand, he didn't have to do this," he added.

While Draham is away, GTSI vice presidents Rick Deloney and Rick Turner will pinch-hit for him. The company will be as supportive as Draham needs, Young said.

"He's really putting his life on the line here," the CEO said. "We take this very seriously."

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