GSA's Roth not looking to rock the boat

"We need to keep running in the direction we've been running," Acting GSA Administrator Denise Turner Roth said.

Acting GSA Administrator Denise Turner Roth said the innovations begun by Dan Tangherlini have been woven into the agency's mission.

When Dan Tangherlini departed from the General Services Administration last month, he left Deputy Administrator Denise Turner Roth in charge of what they both consider to be a well-oiled machine. "We have very strong fundamental efforts in place that we need to continue to run on," Roth said. "I don't see doing any of those differently. We need to keep running in the direction we've been running."

Although her predecessor's tenure was marked by efforts to transform GSA into something resembling a modern technology-centric business, Roth sees her mission as perpetuating the successes that strategy yielded.

But that doesn't mean nothing will change.

She said GSA has opportunities to capitalize on the work that has been done on projects such as the Common Acquisition Platform, Total Workplace and 18F and apply it to the partner agencies GSA supports.

"We do need to make sure that any of the changes to policy or processes or programs that we've brought online are a continuous and sustainable factor of GSA in our fabric," Roth said.

Before she came to GSA a year ago to be deputy administrator, she was city manager in Greensboro, N.C. Before that, she had worked on Capitol Hill and in local D.C. government.

She said her experience at various levels of government has prepared her to handle the challenges faced by GSA. In the past year, her focus has been on the organizational changes that have occurred, including staff realignment and managing administrative costs.

"I have a very core and fundamental perspective of how GSA operates and manages," Roth said. "I've been able to work closely with the leadership here at GSA and understanding what their long-term goals are, [what their] visions are and how we can organize...to support those efforts."

As for the innovations of the Tangherlini era, Roth said they are now woven into GSA's mission.

"We need to make sure that's an integral part of how we do business," she said.

NEXT STORY: When government is the innovator

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