Collins Smee, GSA’s TTS director, to leave government after less than a year

The lead agency executive of the White House’s IT modernization initiative is leaving.

Joanne Collins Smee, the director of the Technology Transformation Service  and deputy commissioner of the Federal Acquisition Service at the General Services Administration, will depart federal service at the end of August.

Joanne Collins Smee, the director of the Technology Transformation Service and deputy commissioner of FAS at GSA is leaving at the end of August.

GSA announced Collins Smee’s decision today in a release.

“It has been an honor to serve in government, and I am so pleased at the enormous progress that GSA has made in modernizing government IT in such a short time,” Collins Smee said in the release.

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She joined the agency in September as the executive director of the Centers of Excellence initiative after spending her entire career in the private sector. GSA named her the acting director of TTS in December 2017 and she became permanent director a few months later.

During her time as TTS director, Collins Smee reorganized the operation to focus more on how to better serve the Trump administration’s IT modernization effort. She lifted the hiring freeze at TTS and ensured the 18F organization provided input to the CoE initiatives at the Agriculture Department, which is serving as the first agency to modernize under this effort.

Collins Smee’s decision to leave government comes as GSA and USDA released the solicitations under phase 2 of the CoE initiative.

GSA has not announced who will serve as the interim deputy commissioner and director of TTS. Dominic Sale recently joined TTS as the assistant commissioner for operations at TTS and could be a candidate for the acting role.

Collins Smee’s departure also would leave GSA FAS with two acting FAS deputy commissioners as Mary Davie, the other deputy FAS commissioner, is leading the agency’s merger effort with the Office of Personnel Management.

Over the last year, Collins Smee has worked closely with USDA to establish the CoE effort and move from planning to implementation.

“In just one year, Joanne has turned the Centers of Excellence into one of the most highly regarded IT modernization initiatives in the federal government and helped deliver results for USDA and America’s farmers, ranchers and producers. Additionally, she has implemented lasting and positive change in helping guide the seamless merger of TTS within FAS,” GSA Administrator Emily Murphy said in the release. “She has made immense progress in furthering our administration’s goal of transforming technology from a perennial challenge into one of government’s greatest strengths. Both FAS and TTS are in a stronger position today, and better positioned for future development, because of Joanne’s talent, work ethic and passion for making government operate better for the American people.”