GSA loses senior official to retirement

Leader leaves government after after more than 30 years.

Jim Williams, the commissioner of the General Services Administration’s Federal Acquisition Service, is retiring from government service. He will retire April 3, and his last day in the office will be March 31, he wrote in a note he sent out today.

An agency spokesman today confirmed his retirement.

“I feel like I have been incredibly blessed and fortunate to have been able to serve our great nation for over thirty years and do so with so many people around the world that I like and respect. I also believe our country's future is bright because of the dedicated and fantastic people that I have had the opportunity to serve with and to have been part of teams of people, many still serving government, that work hard to deliver positive results for the American people, our military and law enforcement personnel, and all other parts of government,” Williams wrote today in a note to GSA employees.

Williams told GSA’s new administrator Martha Johnson today, he wrote.

Williams has been FAS commissioner since 2006. He stood in as acting GSA administrator at the end of the George W. Bush administration, after the Senate blocked his nomination for the position. He returned to being commissioner in January 2009.

Before his current position, Williams served as director of the U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology program (US-VISIT) at the Homeland Security Department. Previously, he worked in several executive leadership positions at the Internal Revenue Service, including deputy associate commissioner for program management, deputy assistant commissioner for procurement and later as director of procurement at the IRS.

Earlier in his career, Williams was director of the Local Telecommunications Procurement Division at GSA, where he was responsible for all nationwide local telecommunications purchases for the agency.

“Across several government agencies and most recently GSA, DHS, and IRS, I know the successes that I am proud to have been a part of have all been due to great leaders and teams of people coming together from the public and private sector to best serve our country and make the world a better place. There is no adequate way to say thank you to my family, friends around the world, and co-workers for all the support provided to me during my career, but I hope they know I am very grateful,” he wrote in his note.

In his note he also wrote, “For people who have recently come into government, I hope they experience and feel how tremendously fulfilling a public service can be.”

“At this point, I do not know where I will be working after I leave government. I will see what options there are after I leave, but, wherever I end up, what does matter to me is that I want to stay in touch with friends,” he wrote.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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