OPM Director Resigns Suddenly at Request of Trump Admin
Jeff Tien Han Pon suddenly resigned last week as the Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) after serving in the position only since March. His resignation reportedly came at the request of the Trump administration. The son of Chinese immigrants is being temporarily replaced by Margaret Weichert, the Office of Management and Budget’s Deputy Director. OPM is an independent executive branch agency whose top several officials are political appointees subject to Senate confirmation. The change will leave the agency without a confirmed leader for an indefinite time. The White House announced the leadership change Friday afternoon while much of the press was focused on Senator Susan Collins' (R-ME) speech on Brett Kavanaugh. The personnel changes come as the government anticipates transferring OPM's 462-person Office of HR Solutions, which covers health insurance and retirement services, to the General Services Administration by March 30th, 2019. There is also a plan to shift personnel policy decisions to the White House, part of a larger government reorganization initiative. This plan has been met with opposition from federal unions that argue it would risk politicizing hiring, promotion, disciplinary and other policies for the 2.1 million career federal employees. Pon’s main focus at OPM had been to seek a thorough overhaul of civil service laws saying that many provisions are outdated. The 48-year-old had previously served as Chief Human Resources and Strategy Officer for the SHRM. He was also previously COO for Futures Inc., an organization that helps transitioning military members find civilian careers. And the University of Southern California graduate was a Principal at Booz Allen Hamilton and served as the Department of Energy's Chief Human Capital Officer. There are no announcements just yet on his next move, but The Beat DC will keep you posted. More here.