Archuleta out at OPM
- By Zach Noble
- Jul 10, 2015
Former Office of Personnel Management Director Katherine Archuleta
Katherine Archuleta, the beleaguered director of the Office of Personnel Management, has resigned.
The move came more than a month after the initial June 4 revelation that OPM had been hacked, and just one day after OPM disclosed that the two breaches had combined to expose the Social Security numbers and other highly sensitive information of 22.1 million individuals.
"This morning, I offered, and the president accepted, my resignation as the director of the Office of Personnel Management," Archuleta said in a statement. "I conveyed to the president that I believe it is best for me to step aside and allow new leadership to step in, enabling the agency to move beyond the current challenges and allowing the employees at OPM to continue their important work."
Congressional leaders had been calling for her firing or resignation over the massive hacks.
Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), who called for Archuleta to step down on July 9 after OPM detailed the scope of the second breach, said on July 10 that her decision "is the right move for the agency and all those affected by the breach."
"This is the absolute right call," said House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) upon hearing the news. "OPM needs a competent, technically savvy leader to manage the biggest cybersecurity crisis in this nation's history. Chaffetz had been urging Archuleta's ouster since the breaches were first disclosed.
"In the future," he added, "positions of this magnitude should be awarded on merit and not out of patronage to political operatives."
Archuleta served as national political director for President Barack Obama's 2012 reelection campaign prior to her appointment as OPM head.
"Leading this agency has been the highlight of my career," Archuleta wrote in her resignation statement, adding that she was "proud" of the work she's done.
The New York Times, reporting the story moments before OPM put out a news release, said Office of Management and Budget deputy director of management Beth Cobert will fill Archuleta's shoes until a permanent replacement is found.
Questions remain whether other OPM leaders – especially CIO Donna Seymour, who also has had Congress clamoring for her head – will get the boot.
Archuleta told reporters on July 9, "I am committed to the work that I am doing at OPM. I have trust in the staff, including Donna Seymour."
Zach Noble is a former FCW staff writer.