The Trump transition team so far has remained silent on plans to nominate an OPM director, a position that Beth Cobert has filled since 2015 on an acting basis; she was formally nominated but never confirmed, due to a lingering dispute over OPM’s interpretation two years earlier of how the Affordable Care Act affected health coverage for members of Congress.During past presidential transitions, leadership of the agency had fallen to the office of general counsel, something that last occurred in 2013 and lasted about six months. OPM public affairs says that in this case chief management officer Kathleen McGettigan will be taking over as acting director. Prior to her CMO role, McGettigan served as principal deputy director for HR Solutions.
The inaction on a new OPM nominee to this point is not necessarily unusual. President Obama didn’t nominate his first OPM director until early March 2009 and President George W. Bush didn’t nominate his until late April 2001.
However, the given that at least a month typically passes between a nomination and a confirmation for positions at that level, it’s virtually assured that the agency will lack a formal leader during a period in which federal employee-related issues are drawing heightened attention from both the White House, through administrative action, and from Congress, through proposed legislation.