OPM reshuffles senior leaders, elevates diversity and inclusion office

The Office of Personnel Management named a new chief management officer and has several senior leadership positions open, as it reorganizes some of its offices ...

The Office of Personnel Management is reshuffling current senior leadership and reorganizing a few of its offices as it waits for the arrival of its new director.

“OPM is making staff and organizational updates in order to better serve the agency’s mission,” the agency told Federal News Network. “These staff and organizations updates will help us to increase efficiency, better leverage our incredible internal talent and build back the agency for the future.”

Dennis Coleman, the agency’s current chief financial officer, will be the new chief management officer, OPM announced Thursday.

Margaret Pearson, OPM’s deputy chief financial officer, will be the acting CFO until the agency fills the job permanently. It will conduct a national search to find a new permanent CFO, OPM said.

Coleman has been at OPM for over 30 years and also serves as the deputy chief management officer. In his new role, he’ll work with the director and senior political staff on issues related to OPM’s performance and resources, the agency said.

“I am extremely pleased that Dennis will become OPM’s chief management officer,” Kathleen McGettigan, the agency’s acting director, said. “The agency has been very fortunate to have Dennis’s guidance and leadership for the last three decades. He has become an exceptional role model for those wishing to serve in the federal government and I couldn’t be more delighted to see him continue to rise in the agency’s ranks.”

McGettigan has been OPM’s longtime chief management officer and is leading the agency on an acting basis while the administration’s nominee awaits Senate confirmation.

President Joe Biden tapped Kiran Ahuja, a former OPM chief of staff from the Obama administration, to be the agency’s new permanent director. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee advanced her nomination, but it hasn’t reached the Senate floor yet for a vote.

Beyond the senior staff changes, OPM is also reorganizing a few of its offices.

The diversity and inclusion program, which was previously part of OPM’s largest policy shop, will become its own, standalone office that reports to the director.

OPM said the move is designed to elevate the diversity and inclusion program, a top priority of the Biden administration. The president signed an executive order on his first day in office, which called on agencies to make equity a central focus in delivering services to the public.

OPM’s new Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility will focus on DEIA initiatives across government, providing technical assistance to other agencies and promoting administration initiatives.

It will split the new DEIA office into three smaller organizations, policy and development, analytics and accountability and outreach and technical assistance, OPM said. The agency is looking for a new executive director at the Senior Executive Service level to lead the DEIA office, and the job is open on USAJobs.gov.

The agency’s own diversity and inclusion function will move from OPM’s Office of Equal Employment Opportunity to its internal human resources shop, where it will implement governmentwide DEIA initiatives.

In addition, the agency will merge its Office of Privacy and Information Management with its executive secretariat office.

The move will consolidate its Freedom of Information Act, privacy, policy and regulation development and records management processes, all designed to improve efficiency and transparency, OPM said.

A new executive director will lead this office, OPM said.

OPM will also restore the agency’s ombudsman, a position that was temporarily eliminated back in 2015.

The ombudsman is supposed to be a neutral, confidential resource for OPM customers and agency employees.

In a sweeping report issued earlier this year, the National Academy of Public Administration recommended the agency improve its customer service with other departments and stakeholders. It also urged the administration and Congress to clarify the roles and responsibilities for many of its top leaders, including the chief management officer.

The threat of merging OPM with the General Services Administration created uncertainty for the agency, forcing some employees and many experienced executives to leave during the previous administration. New OPM appointees have said the agency wants to “emerge” as a leader in federal workforce policy.

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