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FCW Insider: More GSA buzz... administrator talk...

Earlier this month, we told you that the Bush administration is apparently searching for a new GSA administrator -- an acting administrator, anyway. The president can name an acting administrator for six months without needing Senate confirmation and, coincidentally, there are about six months left in the administration.

So there have been rumors just flying around GSA buildings. There was one rumor that one of the GSA regional administrators was going to be coming to Washington. More recently there is speculation that either Jim Williams, commissioner of GSA's Federal Acquisition Service, or Molly Wilkenson, who is currently the chief of staff at the Small Business Administration and was GSA's chief acquisition officer,  could be the one.

There is no word that any of these are true. We haven't been able to nail any of them down.

My take: I can't imagine that this White House would name Williams, who is a career fed. After all, the White House and former GSA Administrator Lurita Doan were at odds about naming political appointments to two GSA posts: general counsel and chief acquisition officer. So is it likely that they would then name a career person to lead the agency, given that David Bibb, GSA's acting administrator, is well liked and respected, has done the job before, and is unlikely to rock the boat?

Wilkinson, however, seems more possible to me, but... who knows.

Related but unrelated, FCW reported today that GSA has named Ted Haddad as the agency's new chief acquisition officer. From the internal announcement:

Haddad Named GSA Chief Acquisition Officer
Acting Administrator David Bibb announced today Theodore Haddad has been named as GSA's Chief Acquisition Officer, effective June 22. Prior to being named CAO, Haddad served as Senior Advisor in GSA’s Office of the Chief Acquisition Officer. Before joining GSA, Haddad held senior positions in the private and public sectors. He has also served as an acquisition executive for the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, where he provided oversight for the acquisition of all Air Force IT systems in the early 1990s. Haddad succeeds David Drabkin, who has been Acting CAO since January 2008. Drabkin is the Deputy Chief Acquisition Officer and will serve as Haddad’s Deputy.

Earlier this month, GSA announced that Leslie Nicholson has been named GSA's general counsel.

U.S. General Services Administration Acting Administrator David Bibb today named Leslie Angus Nicholson as the General Counsel of GSA, effective June 9, 2008.

“GSA has gained an important and highly qualified senior executive in Mr. Nicholson,” Bibb said. “His background and experience make him uniquely qualified to fill this critical position, and I look forward to working closely with him.”

Prior to joining GSA, Nicholson was the President and Chief Executive Officer for Kenwood Capital, LLC, located in Washington, DC.  Before that, Mr. Nicholson was Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Chevy Chase Bank, where he created and managed the legal department of the $12 billion financial institution.  Previously, he was a partner and Chairman of the Litigation Department at Shaw Pittman, LLC, now Pillsbury, Winthrop, Shaw, Pittman.

Nicholson said, “I appreciate both the opportunity to serve the public and President Bush as well as the honor of being asked to join the outstanding team at GSA. Everyone who works for, or with, the federal government understands the vital role played by GSA in providing quality government services throughout the country.”

The GSA General Counsel is the chief legal officer of the agency and is responsible for legally sound implementation of GSA's mission responsibilities nationwide.  Assisting the General Counsel in managing the Office are three Associate General Counsels who serve as division chiefs in Central Office.

Nicholson received his B.A. from Louisiana State University, and his law degree from Vanderbilt University’s School of Law in Nashville, Tennessee.

Posted by Christopher J. Dorobek on Jun 13, 2008 at 12:17 PM


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