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Cobert nominated to head OPM

OMB DDM Beth Cobert, testifying before the Senate Homeland Security Committee on Jan. 14, 2014

The White House announced Nov. 10 that President Barack Obama will nominate Beth Cobert, who has served as the Office of Personnel Management’s acting director since she took over for Katherine Archuleta in July, to serve as OPM’s permanent director.

 “Beth will bring tremendous depth and quality of experience to her role as director,” Obama said in a statement. “As acting director, Beth has effectively pursued strategies to strengthen cybersecurity and improve the way the government serves citizens, businesses, and the federal workforce both past and present. I thank Beth for her commitment to serving the American people and look forward to working with her in the months ahead.”

OPM came under public fire after the April revelation that the agency had suffered a massive breach under Archuleta’s leadership.

It has continued to face IT trouble, but even critics have acknowledged Cobert’s competency at the helm.

“In my initial meetings with Beth Cobert, she has impressed me as a talented, qualified, and competent choice for OPM Director,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah).  Chaffetz is chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which has hammered OPM’s leadership over the breach. “I am hopeful that she can lead and fix this agency," he added. "I am pleased the president has opted for a credible selection this time rather than a political one.”

Chaffetz’ statement also included a call for OPM’s CIO, Donna Seymour, to resign.

“I strongly urge Ms. Cobert to immediately remove Ms. Seymour and replace her with a qualified CIO who will protect the critical information housed at OPM,” Chaffetz said.

Chaffetz's Democratic counterpart on the committee welcomed Cobert without reservation. "While she’s only been in this position for just a few months, [Cobert] has been steadfast and resolute in her efforts to strengthen the agency’s cybersecurity efforts and keep Congress informed on these improvements," Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said in a statement.  

Cobert, a former top executive at McKinsey, came to government as the deputy director for management in the Office of Management and Budget. OMB Controller Dave Mader is currently serving in the DDM role on an acting basis.

Posted by Zach Noble on Nov 10, 2015 at 2:19 PM


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