Alan Chvotkin, one of the most well-respected and knowledge experts in the federal acquisition community, is leaving his current role with the Professional Services Council at the end of 2020.
Chvotkin, the executive vice president and counsel at PSC, confirmed that after 19 years with the industry association he will be moving on after Dec. 31.
“I have an employment contract with PSC that is up at the end of the year and we couldn’t reach an agreement on an extension,” Chvotkin said in an interview with Federal News Network. “It’s not the outcome I would’ve preferred. I think I still have the capabilities to support PSC, but it’s a business decision and I’m okay with that. I have confidence I can still contribute to the community.”
Chvotkin said he’s not sure what comes next in 2021 and he will figure that out as the time gets closer.
“It’s kind of early in that process and I still have work to do at PSC through end of the year,” he said.
David Berteau, the president and CEO of PSC, said in an interview that Chvotkin has been essential to the association since the first day he arrived.
“I don’t think PSC would be where it is without Alan,” he said. “We are now moving out on a long-term leadership plan. This was an Executive committee decision. We will miss him and we are excited about prospects for next decade.”
Berteau said PSC plans to hire two people to take over Chvotkin’s roles. One person will focus on government relations on Capitol Hill and another person will focus on the federal contracting environment.
“We’ve engaged a search firm looking for two senior executives. We want to take full advantage of transition time Alan has afforded us and have a decent hand off and not miss a beat with the new hires,” he said. “Federal acquisition has become more complex and more challenging, so we need a full time person who is dedicated to making that work better. At the same time, Congress continues to increase its role in federal procurement and contracting and PSC needs to play on both sides more powerfully.”
During his tenure at PSC, Chvotkin focused on policy issues for services companies in the public sector. He coordinated staff expertise, built staff capabilities and drew on the experiences of member companies. He said he tried to provide coherent and executable recommendations and actions to Congress and to agencies.
Chvotkin, who came to PSC in 2001 after serving as vice president of AT&T Government Services, helped grow the association as federal acquisition shifted to buy more services than products.
In 2001, PSC had 40 members and seven staff members and 19 years later, it has over 400 members and 23 staff members.
“I think PSC and the role of services was not well known back in 2001 as it was a small marketplace back then,” Chvotkin said. “But over time, the government changed and now highly values services and PSC has made a difference in the marketplace as well with legislative and regulatory improvements, in part, because of our advocacy. We didn’t win everything but we were at the plate for most of the important decisions.”
One of the main reasons why PSC was at the plate for so many acquisition decisions over the last 20 years is because of how well respected Chvotkin was in the community. He is known for being pragmatic and thoughtful when addressing new or long-standing federal acquisition challenges.
“I have had the great pleasure of working with Alan Chvotkin from the days the PSC was established, and cannot say how much he will be missed,” said John Weiler, the executive director and co-founder of the IT Acquisition Advisory Council (IT-AAC). “Alan possesses rare qualities in the public sector tech industry of critical thinking, objectivity and a sense of humor. In my humble opinion, he is irreplaceable.”
Alan Thomas, the former commissioner of the Federal Acquisition Service at the General Services Administration, said Chvotkin was a pro at explaining complex issues clearly.
“While I was at GSA, he was a good advocate for his members but also understood and represented credibly broader public policy concerns. He has a good sense of humor with the ability to take his job seriously but not himself,” said Thomas, who now is an executive vice president of special projects at Trowbridge, an IT services provider with defense, intelligence and civilian agency clients.
Rich Beutel, who worked with Chvotkin when he was the lead procurement staff member on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said he has been an instrumental force in guidance federal contracting.
“Always collegial and with a sharp wit, Alan has been an absolute pleasure to work with and invaluable voice for moderation and process improvements to provide the government with the critical policies essential to maintain a 21st century digital government on behalf of the American people,” Beutel said.
Before PSC and AT&T, Chvotkin worked as corporate director of government relations and senior counsel at Sundstrand Corporation and spent 13 years as a professional staff member on Capitol Hill, serving as a staff member and later counsel for several committees including the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, the Senate Budget Committee, the Senate Small Business Committee and the Senate Armed Services Committee.
“I have no regrets about the 19 years at PSC. I am thrilled with what I have been able to do and be a part of,” Chvotkin said.