GSA promotes Olson to acting deputy commissioner, TTS director

The General Services Administration named Kelly Olson as the acting deputy commissioner of the Federal Acquisition Service and the director of the Technology Transformation Service.

Sources said the announcement came Wednesday at the TTS townhall. Olson has been chief of staff at TTS since March and has worked at GSA since 2015.

Kelly Olson is the acting deputy commissioner of the Federal Acquisition Service and director of the Technology Transformation Service at GSA.

She will move into the new role in September after current deputy commissioner and TTS director Joanne Collins Smee leaves government. Collins Smee announced her decision in early August to leave federal service after a year.

As chief of staff, Olson worked closely with Collins Smee to implement the Centers of Excellence initiative with the Agriculture Department as well as help with strategic initiative across TTS around 18F, Presidential Innovation Fellows and with the Office of Products and Programs.

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Sources said the Trump administration will continue to look for a permanent deputy commissioner and TTS director. The position is political but it doesn’t have to be, as the other deputy commissioner, Mary Davie, is a career federal employee.

Sources said Olson specifically mentioned Dominic Sale, the TTS chief of operations, who will continue to play a critical role specifically around improving the organization’s systems, processes and trying to fix how customer agencies perceived TTS.

Olson’s plate will be full as TTS is working with USDA to make the next set of awards and begin the implementation phase of the CoE initiative.

She also faces the final development of the fiscal 2019 budget request and continued scrutiny of the fee-for-service efforts in the service.

This is Olson’s second stint at GSA. She joined from the private sector in 2015 as the director of the innovation portfolio. She first worked at GSA in 2010 as a four-year term employee where Olson was the director of strategic initiatives, where she focused on outreach for the Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies (OCSIT) as well as supporting the Office of Global Innovation around the sharing of information, best practices and promoting collaboration across all levels of government.