Obama to nominate Tangherlini as GSA administrator

Dan Tangherlini has been the acting chief of the General Services Administration for 13 months, and now the Obama administration has decided to make that assignment official.

President Barack Obama announced today his intention to nominate Tangherlini as the GSA administrator, a job he took over in April 2012, when the agency was rocked by a scandal involving excessive conference spending.

“As Acting Director, Dan helped restore the trust of the American people in the General Services Administration by making the agency more efficient, accountable and transparent,” Obama said in a statement. “I want to thank Dan for his leadership over the past year and for agreeing to continue serving in the Administration.”

Dan Tangherlini, GSA administrator nominee
The Washington Post first reported on Tangherlini’s change in status.

Prior to coming to GSA, Tangherlini spent more than two years as the assistant secretary for management and chief financial officer at the Treasury Department.


He stepped into the role vacated by Martha Johnson, the former GSA administrator who resigned after the agency’s IG found the Public Buildings Service spent $822,000 on a training conference outside of Las Vegas for 300 people in October 2010. During the planning for the conference, the IG said PBS also broke federal procurement rules and agency regulations.

“Every step of the way I will work with you, the talented, committed members of the GSA team to leverage the challenges we face today as an opportunity to build an even stronger GSA,” Tangherlini wrote in a letter to GSA employees when he first took the job. “I look forward to meeting you, talking to you and hearing your ideas for improving our agency.”

Federal News Radio Executive Editor Jason Miller interviewed Tangherlini in January about six priorities he had set to help the agency move forward in the aftermath of the conference scandal.

“As we begin a new calendar year together, I am confident we will continue to build upon the progress that we have already made and make GSA the model of efficiency and integrity for the entire federal government,” Tangherlini wrote. “At a time of shrinking budgets, GSA’s role of providing the highest possible value at the lowest possible cost to our partner agencies has never been more important.”

The six priorities were:

  • Delivering better value and saving
  • Serving our partners
  • Expanding opportunities for small businesses
  • Making a more sustainable government
  • Leading with innovation
  • Building a stronger GSA.

“If people are worried in GSA about the reputation of GSA, I think they are our best advertisers,” he said in January. “When I go and talk to these people who really are committed and dedicated to delivering great services, I get fired about the work they do. I think they are really good sales people for the importance and significance of doing things once and well, of finding things we can share and driving best value into common services and acquisitions within the government. I tell everyone that I will do whatever I can as a leader and manager to help with morale, but I need everyone to help too. Morale at some levels is set by the people within the organizations and they have a role and responsibility to chip in on it.”


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