Pizzella to leave GSA

Mary Joy Pizzella, the driving force behind improving the FirstGov.gov Web site and making the General Services Administration’s Office of Citizen Services more agency-friendly, is returning to the private sector.

Pizzella’s last day will be June 30, according to an e-mail she sent to her staff today.

Pizzella, who has been GSA’s associate administrator for citizen services and communications since 2001, took over FirstGov and moved it to a new search engine. She was instrumental in getting USA Services off the ground to provide call-center services to agencies based on a tiered system.

“We should be very proud of the many accomplishments we have instituted that are truly transformational,” she wrote. “In the communications area, we have successfully and professionally addressed a multitude of challenges. In citizen services, we have truly created a ‘customer service department’ in the government for citizens. The impact on citizens' lives is just beginning to be realized. The quality and quantity of valuable information we are now providing citizens—and the manner in which we are delivering it—is unique”

David Bethel is the deputy associate administrator for communications and Martha Dorris is the deputy associate administrator for citizen services. It is unclear who will take over on an acting basis.

Before coming to GSA, Pizzella held several senior-level communications positions during her 20-year career, serving as senior vice president with the public relations firm of Burson-Marsteller, vice president of communications at the American Forest and Paper Association, special assistant to the ambassador at the U.S. embassy in Paris and director of public affairs/press secretary for the Energy Department.

Pizzella graduated with a bachelor's degree in political science from Clemson University and is married to Labor Department CIO Pat Pizzella.

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