Under Section 1102 of Title V of the U.S. Code, the OPM director is limited to a four-year term. The Senate approved Berry to be OPM director on April 3, 2009, and he officially was sworn in on April 13, which means his term will come to an end on April 13, 2013.
The White House could nominate him, or for that matter any OPM director, for a second term. But, it seems unlikely that will happen.
The Washington Post reported last month Berry may be in line to be the next Ambassador to Australia.
If Berry indeed leaves on or about April 13, OPM would be without its top two leaders. The agency hasn’t had a deputy director since Christine Griffin left in August 2011.
It’s unclear who would take over in an acting capacity.
During the transition from the President George W. Bush administration to the President Barack Obama administration, Kathie Ann Whipple, OPM’s deputy general counsel, served as acting administrator.
Government Executive first reported news of Berry’s term expiration.
During Berry’s tenure, he took on some of the most challenging aspects of federal human resources management.
According to data on Performance.gov, the OPM-led effort to reduce hiring times for new employees was down to, on average, 109 days in fiscal 2011. OPM has not yet posted 2012 data.
He also focused the agency on addressing the retirement claims backlog by putting more people and management oversight into the effort after three failed technology programs.
But the biggest, and maybe most impactful, part of Berry’s job has been to play cheerleader, motivator and staunchest defender of the federal workforce during a three-year pay freeze, a hiring freeze across most agencies, and in the face of constant attacks by some members of Congress.
Berry follows several former OPM directors to have stayed for four years.