Workforce

GSA's Roth: TTS commissioner search is progressing

Denise Turner Roth.

GSA Administrator Denise Turner Roth said she is looking for a TTS commissioner who can transition the service from a startup into "something that is more mature and sustainable."

The search for the next full-time commissioner of the General Services Administration's Technology Transformation Service could be concluded soon.

GSA Administrator Denise Turner Roth told FCW the hiring process is still in the early stages, but she hopes to have a "good sense" of the next TTS commissioner by the end of September.

She added that she is focusing on candidates "who can really work well with our stakeholders, which are varied from industry to federal agencies to the staff within 18F and TTS." In addition, she is looking for someone who can "help move the organization from an emerging group -- sort of a startup group -- to something that is more mature and sustainable."

At GSA's Technology Industry Day on Sept. 8, Roth said an in-house hire was "definitely not off the table."

Since TTS' inaugural commissioner, Phaedra Chrousos, departed in June, GSA CIO David Shive has filled the position on an interim basis.

Roth praised Shive as the "perfect transition person" and said she believes this experience allows him to "really be a voice for the work of TTS on how CIOs can benefit" from working with digital services groups.

As the transition to a new administration draws closer, Roth and other GSA leaders say they expect the next administration -- regardless of who's elected -- to build on the work of TTS, 18F and the U.S. Digital Service.

"I don't anticipate a lot of change," Shive said. "TTS was stood up under a great idea -- being able to provide modern technology to government -- and that's not going to change regardless of who's in the White House.... So it doesn't matter, really, what the mission objectives are of the administration."

GSA Deputy Administrator Aaron Neufeld echoed that idea. "This is a bipartisan issue," he said. "One campaign has already specifically praised 18F and TTS, and I have no reason to believe the other campaign doesn't think the same thing."

Roth said her primary focus in her waning days as administrator is to stress the importance of digital services projects.

"I think what's important...is when the next administration and administrator come into place that they're able to see a program that is well-run and has built the bridges with GSA to make it sustaining long-term," she said.

About the Author

Chase Gunter is a staff writer covering civilian agencies, workforce issues, health IT, open data and innovation.

Prior to joining FCW, Gunter reported for the C-Ville Weekly in Charlottesville, Va., and served as a college sports beat writer for the South Boston (Va.) News and Record. He started at FCW as an editorial fellow before joining the team full-time as a reporter.

Gunter is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where his emphases were English, history and media studies.

Click here for previous articles by Gunter, or connect with him on Twitter: @WChaseGunter

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