Blog archive

OPM's John Berry, king of the jungle

What do Obama’s chief people person and a lion at the National Zoo have in common?

They carry the same name, by design: In 2010 the zoo named one of its seven tiger cubs after John Berry, director of the Office of Personnel Management, who also happens to be the former head of the zoo. 

Patricia Niehaus, national president of the Federal Managers Association, brought the connection to light at FMA’s 74th National Convention & Management Training Seminar in Arlington, Va., on March 13.

“If you’ve been [at the zoo] and seen John the lion, this is whom he was named after,” Niehaus said in introducing Berry, inciting delight and laughter from the audience. “I don’t know many who have a lion named after them.”

Berry served as director of the zoo from 2005 to 2009, and was in charge of more than 800 employees and 2,000 animals. According to a video on OPM’s website, he “apparently had deep, meaningful conversations” with the cubs’ mother, Lusaka, before she died in 2010 at the ripe age of 18..

Posted by Camille Tuutti on Mar 13, 2012 at 12:11 PM

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.


  • Shutterstock image: looking for code.

    How DOD embraced bug bounties -- and how your agency can, too

    Hack the Pentagon proved to Defense Department officials that outside hackers can be assets, not adversaries.

  • Shutterstock image: cyber defense.

    Why PPD-41 is evolutionary, not revolutionary

    Government cybersecurity officials say the presidential policy directive codifies cyber incident response protocols but doesn't radically change what's been in practice in recent years.

  • Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

    Exit interview with Anne Rung

    The government's departing top acquisition official said she leaves behind a solid foundation on which to build more effective and efficient federal IT.

  • Charles Phalen

    Administration appoints first head of NBIB

    The National Background Investigations Bureau announced the appointment of its first director as the agency prepares to take over processing government background checks.

  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

    Senator: Rigid hiring process pushes millennials from federal work

    Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said agencies are missing out on younger workers because of the government's rigidity, particularly its protracted hiring process.

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1987, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

Reader comments

Thu, Mar 22, 2012 Dia

The cub in question's mother was not Lusaka. The cub's mother is Shera.

Fri, Mar 16, 2012 Tony the Tiger The Jungle

Now he's the head Zoo Keeper at OPM... Fitting. Still waiting for a deep, meaningful conversation.


SOOOOOO, they named a Tiger cub after John and then it turned into a Lion?

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group