Acquisition leaders on the move at VA, GSA

As much attention as the Veterans Affairs senior executive responsible for oversight of the debacle in Boulder, Colorado of the construction of a new hospital left, his replacement got strikingly little fanfare.

VA Secretary Bob McDonald promoted Greg Giddens to replace Glenn Haggstrom as the executive director of VA’s Office of Acquisition, Logistics and Construction.

Haggstrom retired abruptly March 25 as the heat from the construction failures in Boulder mounted.

Giddens comes into the new role after spending the last five years as VA’s executive director for enterprise project management in the Office of Policy and Planning.

He is no stranger to controversy or large programs. Before coming to VA, Giddens worked at the Homeland Security Department where he ran the Secure Border Initiative (SBINet) program for its first three years. In many ways, Giddens has made a career of dealing with large and politically sensitive programs. He also was the director for the Department of Defense Acquisition Personnel Demonstration Project, program manager for the Air Force Weather Weapon System, and was deputy assistant commandant for acquisition at the U.S. Coast Guard headquarters, and the deputy program executive officer for the Integrated Deepwater System.

The General Services Administration also is shuffling some acquisition chairs.

Tom Sharpe, commissioner of the Federal Acquisition Service, said Gregory Hammond is the new region 2, regional commissioner. Region 2 includes New York, New Jersey, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Hammond replaces Frank Mayer and Jeff Lau, both of which served as acting commissioners over the last few years. Lau will continue to serve region 2’s deputy commissioner.

FAS is losing a key executive in the Obama administration’s category management effort.

Amanda Fredriksen is leaving her role as assistant commissioner (AC) of Strategy Management on May 3. Sharpe said Fredriksen will move to a new role in Fleet for Travel, Motor Vehicles and Card Services.

“Among many other accomplishments in her tenure as AC, most notable is Amanda’s role in launching Category Management for FAS and the federal government,” Sharpe wrote in an email obtained by Federal News Radio. “Her work has ensured category management will be the ongoing business strategy for managing federal procurement into the future. We have begun a search for Amanda’s replacement; in the meantime, Laura Stanton will serve as acting commissioner of Strategy Management.”

If you remember, Fredriksen got caught up in the post Western Regions Conference clamp down across all facets of GSA. She was one of six GSA officials put on administrative leave for a short time in June 2013. Fredriksen was cleared of any wrong doing, and returned to the assistant commissioner role. She also ran the Integrated Acquisition Environment (IAE) and System for Award Management (SAM) initiatives.

Finally on the GSA front, Region 8 commissioner Tim Horne is leaving FAS to join the Public Building Service. He will assume the role of region 8 PBS commissioner, Sharpe said.

And finally, Larry Gross is moving on from the Interior Department. After spending the last almost five years as the principle deputy CIO at Interior, Gross said he’ll become the Agriculture Department’s Farm Service Agency’s top IT guy on April 20.

Gross replaces Jim Gwinn, who left as the USDA FSA CIO in March 2014 and now is the CIO for the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet). FirstNet’s mission is to build, operate and maintain the first high-speed, nationwide wireless broadband network dedicated to public safety.

Loretta Burns has been acting since Gwinn left nearly a year ago.

Gross came to Interior in 2010 after spending the five previous years as the associate CIO for Electronic Government at the Treasury Department.

This post is part of Jason Miller’s Inside the Reporter’s Notebook feature. Read more from this edition of Jason’s Notebook.

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