GSA picks DoD installations chief Robyn to head Public Buildings Service

Tuesday - 9/4/2012, 7:37pm EDT

Dorothy Robyn, who for the last three years has overseen the Defense Department's military facilities and buildings, has been named to head the General Services Administration's embattled Public Buildings Service.

Dorothy Robyn

In a memo to staff Tuesday, Acting GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini, called Robyn's hiring the "next step forward" in GSA's effort to "refocus this agency on our mission to deliver value for taxpayers and consistent, effective and responsive services for customer agencies."

As DoD's deputy undersecretary for Installations and the Environment, Robyn was responsible for managing DoD's 539,000 military installations, spanning more than 29 million acres across the world.

She also headed up the department's Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) efforts.

In particular, Robyn focused her efforts on installation-energy programs, such as building or retrofitting more energy-efficient bases. Robyn also oversaw DoD's "energy test bed" project, which would provide grants to companies that test new energy concepts on military bases."

Before being appointed to DoD, Robyn consultant with the Brattle Group, an economic consulting firm, and also served as a member of the White House staff as a special assistant to the President for economic policy.

"These experiences make her uniquely qualified to manage the extensive inventory of the Public Buildings Service as well as the task of disposing of excess and underutilized properties," Tangherlini wrote in the staff email.

Tangherlini also announced he is phasing out the PBS Board of Directors, which he suggested would streamline the chain of command at the PBS.

"By clearly establishing the executive authority of the PBS commissioner, I am enabling Dr. Robyn to set the agenda for PBS and to create a clear, identifiable chain of command," Tangherlini said. "As we move forward, I believe that this change is essential if PBS, and the entire GSA, is to give the American people the effective, efficient service that they deserve."

Robyn replaces Linda Chero, who had served as acting PBS commissioner since April, when then-Administrator Martha Johnson fired PBS Commissioner Robert Peck for his role in a conference-spending scandal at the agency. Johnson also resigned.

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