Cobert names team for building National Background Investigations Bureau

Acting Office of Personnel Management director says the transition team "is a key milestone in what will be a long, inter-agency process."

Beth Cobert testifying before HSGAC Feb 4 2016

Acting Office of Personnel Management Director Beth Cobert described the new transition team as "a key milestone in what will be a long, inter-agency process."

Acting Office of Personnel Management Director Beth Cobert has named leaders for a transition team to help stand up the new National Background Investigations Bureau (NBIB). In an email to OPM staff obtained by FCW, Cobert said James C. Onusko will lead the effort, which will draw on "investigative, security, change management, and IT experts from several government agencies and departments."

Onusko has been the Department of Veterans Affairs' executive director for personnel security and identity management since December 2013, according to Cobert's email. His deputy will be Christy K. Wilder, a former OPM employee who is returning to the agency from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence's Office of Legislative Affairs.

Also on the team, Cobert said, are Tori Gold from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Laura Duke from the Office of Management and Budget. Current OPM employees Curtis Mejeur (the Federal Investigative Services' IT program manager) and Mark Sherwin (FIS' deputy associate director) "will also be playing a large role on the team."

Cobert added that Dean Hunter, OPM’s director of facilities, security and emergency management, will lead an internal, "parallel process within OPM" to complement the transition team's government-wide work.

OPM Press Secretary Samuel Schumach confirmed the team details to FCW, and noted that the participants "will be focused on standing up NBIB in a way that strengthens how the federal government conducts background investigations and protects vital information."

The White House announced plans to create the NBIB in January -- part of the administration's continuing efforts to address shortcomings in federal background checks and record security that surfaced in the wake of the OPM data breach that compromised personal information on more than 22 million individuals.

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