GSA's Mitchell to retire

When Mary Mitchell came to the General Services Administration eight years ago, she told her boss at the time, Marty Wagner, that she would retire in June 2007. She was six months off her prediction.

Mitchell announced earlier this week that she will retire Jan. 3 after 32 years as a federal employee.

“My husband retired years ago from the Air Force and got sick of waiting for me so he sold my house and moved to South Carolina,” she said. “So now I’m joining him.”

She said she stayed the extra time because she wanted to ensure that the foundation for the Financial Management Line of Business (FM LOB) initiative was in place.

Mitchell has been a leader in the e-government and federal financial management arena. She is FM LOB’s program manager and the Financial Systems Integration Office’s executive. She is also deputy associate administrator of the Office of Technology Strategy in GSA’s Office of Governmentwide Policy.

“Mary has made important contributions to e-government and other technology areas,” said Wagner, who is now a senior fellow at the IBM Center for the Business of Government. “She has a deep understanding of the underlying technology and the direction it is going, which has proven useful for the government as it has worked through its challenges.”

Before coming to GSA in 1999, Mitchell worked at the National Institute of Standards and Technology for 19 years and in the Executive Office of the President.

She said she is most proud of her work with the e-government Quicksilver project in 2002 and her involvement in developing the testing program and implementation strategy for Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12.

She also cited her work on the Standard for the Exchange of Product Model Data, an early semantic data standard, as one of her accomplishments.

In her last six weeks, Mitchell said she will focus on ensuring that the FM LOB initiative will continue to move forward after she leaves.

Mitchell said she hopes to teach at a university in South Carolina but wasn’t sure she will stay involved with the federal community.

“It was not a tough decision to leave,” she said. “It will be hard not to go at the pace I’ve been going at. I probably will go into shock after about three days. Once I unpack, I will figure something out.”

Wagner said Mitchell’s retirement is a big loss for the government. “I and others appreciate all she has done for us in e-government and other areas,” he added.

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