UPDATED: Doan nominated as GSA administrator

The White House confirmed late Thursday that Lurita Alexis Doan has been nominated as administrator of the General Services Administration.

Doan most recently served as president and chief executive officer of New Technology Management Inc., a surveillance technology company that she founded in 1990, according to the White House statement. She has received a number of awards for her work, including the General Services Administration’s Circle of Excellence Award, as well as the Award for Entrepreneurial Innovation from the Commerce Department.

Earlier in her career, Doan was an instructor at Southeastern Louisiana University. She received her bachelor’s degree from Vassar College and her master’s degree from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

Doan's nomination requires approval by the Senate. If approved, she will take over for David Bibb, who has been serving as acting GSA administrator since Stephen Perry left that job on Oct. 31, 2005.

Doan is not a household name in the government IT community even though she is founder and owner of New Technology Management, a $100 million-a-year company based in northern Virginia.

Several acquisition veterans wished the new nominee luck on what everyone agrees will be challenging job.

“It’s a tough position she’s moving into," said Warren Suss, president of Suss Consulting. "She needs to stabilize the organization. They are at risk of losing a lot of their talent. Secondly, they really need to win back the confidence of their customers. Someone who has broad-based links into the agency customer set would be the ideal candidate. She appears to have a certain level of presence in niches of the marketplace. I think she has her work cut out for her."

Based on a quick survey of articles about Doan, Suss concluded that her background as technology leader is better suited to GSA's needs than a lawyer’s or contracts specialist’s would be. Even with that, however, resurrecting the flagging agency is going to be difficult.

“The reason it’s such a challenge is that there’s already been a lot of momentum for agencies moving away from GSA," he said. "DOD and many non-DOD agencies have already put in place their own [indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity] vehicles. The problem that she faces is that there’s already been a lot of deterioration in GSA’s marketplace.”


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