Longtime acquisition exec Kay Ely to retire

GSA Headquarters (Photo by Rena Schild/Shutterstock) 

Kay Ely, a longtime federal acquisition executive and the IT acquisition policy lead at the General Services Administration, plans to retire from federal service, FCW has learned.

Ely, currently GSA's assistant commissioner of its Office of Information Technology Category (ITC) at the Federal Acquisition Service, will move to a task force set to merge some operations of Office of Personnel Management into GSA.

According to an Aug. 13 internal email, Ely will move onto the task force Oct. 1 for a 90-day detail. After that, she will retire from the federal government.

GSA officials said no replacement for Ely has been named.

The news comes two weeks after the announcement of Joanne Collins-Smee's departure. Smee, deputy commissioner of FAS, director of Technology Transformation Service and leader of the Centers of Excellence effort plans to leave the agency for a private sector job at the end of August.

Ely's No. 2, Bill Zielinski, deputy assistant commissioner for Category Management, could be a likely acting replacement, said one contractor familiar with the organization.

Ely's move isn't surprising, according to some federal contracting insiders, since the new task force is being headed by Mary Davie, FAS deputy commissioner. Ely and Davie worked closely together at FAS. Davie had been deputy assistant commissioner for FAS ITC for a dozen years before being named FAS deputy last September.

The White House plans to merge some of OPM's core functions -- retirement services, federal employee healthcare and insurance plans and its human resources solutions --  into GSA and rename the agency as the Government Services Agency.

Ely took up Davie's old position as assistant commissioner for the FAS ITC last September. Ely won Federal 100 honors in 2017 for her leadership on category management at GSA.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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