President Trump has nominated to become OPM director Jeff Tien Han Pon, who has held senior human resources positions inside and outside of the federal government, including a period at OPM in which he was that agency’s deputy director of e-government where he was involved in the creation of its HR shared services center, payroll modernization and USAJobs.
His other positions have included chief human resources strategy officer for the Society for Human Resource Management; chief operating officer for Futures Inc., which helps military personnel transition to civilian jobs; in the Booz-Allen consulting firm’s HR practice; and with the Energy Department’s human capital office, according to the White House announcement.
Trump’s initial nominee, George Nesterczuk, withdrew even before getting a confirmation hearing, after opposition from federal employee unions, primarily related to his role in setting up the National Security Personnel System at DoD during the Bush administration.
Trump also nominated two persons with long experience in federal labor matters for seats on the Federal Labor Relations Authority–James Thomas Abbot, currently the agency’s chief counsel, and Colleen Kiko, a former official there who is currently a judge of the Employees’ Compensation Appeals Board in the Department of Labor. The three-member FLRA has two incumbents but one of them, Patrick Pizzella, has been nominated to become deputy secretary at Labor.
Also nominated was Webster Murphy to become GSA administrator; she currently is a senior adviser at the agency and previously was its chief acquisition officer. She also has acquisition-related experience on Capitol Hill and in the private sector.
The nominations leave the two vacant seats on the three-member MSPB as the most pressing vacancies in the central federal personnel and management agencies. With only one member, that board has been unable to decide appeals of decisions by its hearing officers since early in the year.