Scope of the Position:

The Administrator of the General Services Administration (GSA) oversees the procurement of real estate, travel services, and technology for the federal government. In addition to government acquisition, GSA provides technology for the military and government operations while maintaining best practices for its use and implementation. The Administrator aims to carry out GSA's mission statement of "deliver[ing] the best value in real estate, acquisition, and technology services to government and the American people."

The Administrator is also in charge of the more than 11,000 federal personnel that facilitate the variety of jobs that GSA carries out. GSA has a budget of $23.9 billion, but it also manages $500 billion in federal assets; therefore, the Administrator must have experience handling large budget sheets and highly valuable assets. The Presidential Transition Improvement Act of 2015 outlined new responsibilities for GSA and its Administrator. The Act requires GSA to take a more proactive role in the presidential transition planning and coordination. There is now a requirement that there be a senior-level career appointee who represents GSA and acts as its facilitator with the transition efforts. Furthermore, this GSA representative must ensure that all other agencies are complying with the mandates regarding the transition period.

Illustrative Management Challenges:

Security Risks

In the past, there have been concerns over GSA building security. In a recent report, the Inspector General found that GSA building badges are "susceptible to identity fraud, tampering, counterfeiting, and exploitation."1 It discovered other security risks such as "contractor employees with active building badges who had been determined to be 'unfit' due to unfavorable background investigations" and "inactive contractor employees who had active building badges." The Inspector General submitted 13 recommendations to address security threats, including increased "use of standardized PIV cards, better tracking when credentials expire and enhancing internal controls to improve data accuracy."2

     Sources:

      1U.S. General Services Administration Office of Inspector General Semiannual Report to the Congress; gsaig.gov; March 31, 2016.
      2Poor Management of Security Badges Leaves Federal Buildings Vulnerable to Shooters, Terrorist Attacks; govexec.com; March 31, 2016.

GSA Administrators:

GSA Administrators typically come from a strong background in management, both in the public and private sectors. Given that the GSA deals with many things related to the private sector (real estate, acquisition, services, etc.), experience in an operational capacity at a private sector organization is beneficial to success as Administrator.

Current Incumbent:

Denise T. Roth (Acting) (2015-Present): Prior to assuming her current appointment, Roth served as the Deputy Administrator of the General Services Administration, Special Assistant for Legislative Affairs in the Office of the District of Columbia Mayor Anthony Williams, Public Space Manager with the Department of Transportation for the City of Washington, D.C., and as the City Manager for Greensboro, North Carolina.

Previous Administrators:

Daniel M. Tangherlini (2012-2015): Tangherlini founded and is currently President of SeamlessDocs Federal. His previous positions included Chief Operating Officer at Artemis Real Estate Partners, Acting Administrator for the General Services Administration, Assistant Secretary of Management and Chief Financial Officer of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, City Administrator of Washington, D.C., Interim General Manager for the Washington Metro Area Transit Authority, and Director of the D.C. Department of Transportation.

Martha N. Johnson (2010-2012): Johnson currently works as a Principal Consultant at Blackdragon and is a Co-Founder and Executive Coach at ChapterNext, LLC. Prior to her appointment as GSA Administrator, she worked as a Vice President of Culture with Computer Sciences Corporation. Following the 2008 election, she served as a co-leader on the Obama transition team. She was the Director at Touchstone Consulting Group and the Vice President of the Council for Excellence in Government. She worked as Chief of Staff for GSA after having served as the Associate Deputy Secretary of Commerce during the Clinton Administration. . She holds a bachelor's degree in economics and history and an MBA.

Stephen R. Leeds (Acting) (2009-2010): Leeds is currently serving as Principal of Sustainability Consultants, LLC, and counsel with the law firm Rogers & Hardin LLP. His previous positions include Senior Counselor, Acting GSA Administrator, and Senior Sustainability Officer with the GSA. Additionally, Leeds spent 35 years in the real estate business in Atlanta.

Paul F. Prouty (Acting) (2009): Prior to his appointment as Acting Administrator, Prouty served as Assistant Regional Administrator for GSA's Public Buildings Service in the Rocky Mountain Region. He also worked as GSA's Director of the Real Estate Division in Denver. Prouty previously served as Director of the Colorado Service Center and Assistant Regional Administrator in PBS's New England Region.

James A. Williams (Acting) (2008-2009): Williams currently serves as a Partner with Schambach & Williams Consulting, LLC. Preceding his appointment as Acting Administrator, Williams served as Commissioner of the GSA's Federal Acquisition Service. He previously served as the Director of U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology program at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Williams also worked at the Internal Revenue Service as Deputy Associate Commissioner for Program Management and Director of Procurement. He holds a BA in business administration and an MBA from George Washington University.

David Bibb (Acting) (2008; 2005-2006): Bibb previously served as the Deputy Administrator of GSA. He joined GSA in 1971 as an intern in the Atlanta office and is a recipient of the Presidential Rank Award of Distinguished Executive. He holds an MS from Florida State University.

Lurita A. Doan (2006-2008): Doan is currently serving as the Advisor for the trade-based analytic firm CargoMetrics. Doan's previous positions included CEO of AiRENDIL; a commentator with Federal News Radio; the Founder, President, and CEO of New Technology Management; a Programmer and Trainer with Unisys; and a radio host for the program "Reading is Fundamental."

Stephen A. Perry (2001-2005): Perry is currently serving as a member of the Board of Trustees of Kent State University. His previous positions included President and Executive Director of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and a 37-year stint with the Timken Company, which ended with Perry retiring as the Senior Vice President. Perry also served as a cabinet official for former Ohio Governor George Voinovich.

Thurman Davis (Acting) (2000-2001): Davis is currently serving as the Director of Smiths Detection-LiveWave. His previous positions included serving in the GSA for two administrations, as a member of the National Forum of Black Public Administrators, in the NAACP, and on the Senior Executive Association.

David J. Barram (1996-2000): Barram is currently serving as the CEO of the PayWi Corporation. Barram's previous positions include CEO of Mobibucks Corporation, CFO and Vice President of Finance for Graphics Properties Holdings, COO and Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce, and Vice Chairman of the President's Management Council. Barram also served in several positions with Apple, including CFO and Vice President of Finance, Vice President of Corporate Affairs, and Vice President of Corporate Communications.

Roger Johnson (1993-1996): Johnson's previous positions included Chairman and the CEO of Western Digital Corporation, President of the Office Systems Group of Burroughs Corporation, Executive Vice President and COO of Measurex Corporation, senior-level experience with the General Electric Company, Vice Chair of Economic Issues for the American Business Conference, and leadership positions on many other organizations' board of directors.

Julia Stasch (Acting) (1993): Stasch currently serves as the President of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Prior to her appointment as Acting Administrator, Stasch served as Deputy Administrator for GSA. She previously served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Stein & Co, and she began her career as a teacher in the Chicago public school system. She holds a BA in American History.

Dennis Fischer (Acting) (1993): Fischer currently serves as a business development consultant for AOC Solutions. Prior to his appointment as Acting Administrator, Fischer worked as Deputy Chief Financial Officer for the Department of Health and Human Services. He also worked as Chief Financial Officer of GSA. Fischer holds a BA in mathematics and an MS in financial management.

Additional Resources:

http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/100046 
http://www.gsa.gov/thisisgsa/#/Full Time Employees  
http://www.gsa.gov/portal/mediaId/201443/fileName/GSA2014AFR_PrincipalFinancialStatements.action 
https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/1172