Wilkinson to leave GSA

The General Services Administration’s chief acquisition officer Molly Wilkinson has resigned after a short seven-and-a-half month stint, government and industry sources say.


Wilkinson likely is moving to the Small Business Administration to become a chief of staff to Administrator Steven Preston. It is not official yet because the White House has not a formal offer, but sources say that is imminent.

Wilkinson is moving to the Small Business Administration to become a chief of staff to administrator Steve Preston.

David Drabkin, a long-time GSA acquisition official on detail to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, will replace Wilkinson on an interim basis until a political appointment is made, sources confirmed.

Industry sources say there were two factors in Wilkinson’s decision.

“Administration wanted Wilkinson to go to SBA as chief of staff because Molly is considered a doer and has lot of high energy,” said an industry source, who requested anonymity. “Some in the administration believe this is platform for her to do great things and broaden experience.”

A source also said another issue was the fact that Wilkinson and GSA administrator Lurita Doan disagreed on a series of issues and there comes a time when you have to move on.

“For Molly, the decision came down to whether or not she could work for someone who will have certain type of cloud over their head for the remainder of their time or work for someone who doesn’t,” the source said.

Wilkinson is scheduled to report to SBA in January.

Drabkin went on detail earlier this year and worked on the Accountability in Government Contracting Act of 2007. The Senate passed the bill Nov. 7.

His detail ends Dec. 31 and sources said he will return to GSA in his former position as deputy chief acquisition officer.

He has been involved in GSA procurement since 2000 as a senior procurement executive and a deputy chief acquisition officer before moving to the Senate. He also was a member of the Services Acquisition Reform Act panel and served as the assistant deputy under secretary of Defense for acquisition process and policies in the Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition Reform where he led the implementation of the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act.

Wilkinson came from the Labor department where she was the associate deputy secretary for management.

During her tenure at GSA, Wilkinson played a key role in a number of GSA and governmentwide areas, including acquisition workforce issues, reminding agencies to plan for year-end spending and cleaning up data in the Federal Procurement Data System-Next Generation.

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