GSA losing four key senior executives

Tuesday - 1/7/2014, 2:42pm EST

Four high-ranking senior executives at the General Services Administration are leaving.

GSA Deputy Administrator Susan Brita will retire March 14 after more than 30 years of government service.

Along with Brita, Casey Coleman, one of the longest-serving chief information officers in government, and Kelly Olson, director of strategic initiatives and outreach in the Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies, are heading to the private sector.

Additionally, Sheila Campbell, GSA's director of the Center for Excellence in Digital Government in the OSCIT, also is leaving to join the Peace Corps as its director for strategic and digital integration.

Dan Tangherlini, GSA's administrator, wrote in a note to staff, which was obtained by Federal News Radio, Denise Turner Roth will take over as deputy administrator when Brita leaves.

Brita has been deputy administrator since 2010.

"She has worked to make GSA as efficient and effective as possible," Tangherlini said in the note to staff. "Her commitment to the highest standards of public service has helped strengthen this agency and will serve as an example for everyone who works here for years to come."

Brita was a key figure in exposing the conference scandal that engulfed GSA in April 2010, and led to the departure of then-administrator Martha Johnson and other senior executives.

Turner Roth comes to GSA after spending the last two-plus years as city manager of Greensboro, N.C.

"During her tenure with the City of Greensboro, Denise was responsible for overseeing changes and improvements to the information technology department. She implemented a strategic planning process that combined the enterprise solutions and information technology functions to better streamline internal services and application development," Tangherlini wrote. "In addition, she developed a governance council to better assess the technology needs of the organization and ensure that the city was identifying and using the most advanced technology. I am confident that this kind of experience and leadership will be an important asset for our entire organization moving forward."

Coleman will be joining AT&T Government Solutions as client executive vice president.

Coleman has been the CIO at GSA since 2007 and has been with the agency since 2002.

In her new role, Coleman will focus on the civilian market where AT&T can offer different services and products around mobility, cloud, big data and cybersecurity.

"Casey is widely known and respected within the federal technology sector as a true leader. Her combination of visionary leadership, technological know-how, and public sector expertise will be of great value to our federal customers," said Kay Kapoor, president of AT&T Government Solutions, in a statement.

During her tenure at GSA, Coleman led several high-profile initiatives, including the most recent consolidation of CIO offices across the agency. She also led the effort to make GSA more mobile by offering smartphones, laptops and tablet computers.

Under her leadership, GSA also was one of the first agencies to move its email system fully to the cloud. She also is ushering seven other collaboration tools to the cloud, including shared services for financial management and human resources.

Additionally, Coleman led the consolidation of GSA's internal IT infrastructure by awarding the $200 million contract to a small firm in 2007.

Coleman also was one of the most active CIOs in the community. She was the co- chairwoman of the CIO Council's Innovation Committee with DHS Deputy CIO Margie Graves. She was among the first federal CIOs to blog and use Twitter quite extensively to communicate with the public.

GSA said in a release that Sonny Hashmi, currently the deputy CIO, will serve as acting CIO.

"I'm thrilled that Sonny, who has been instrumental in advancing GSA's IT innovation, has agreed to serve as acting CIO," Tangherlini said in a release. "I am confident that his talent and leadership will maintain the progress that this agency has made and keep us on track to provide our partners and the American people with the best possible value and services."

Tangherlini praised Coleman's efforts over the last decade.

"Casey is a recognized innovator and federal government leader who has helped make GSA a pioneer in the digital world," Tangherlini said. "Under her leadership, GSA has achieved several 'firsts' for the government in mobility, cloud computing, social media and collaboration initiatives, which reduced costs, improved productivity, and improved our ability to deliver services to our federal partners and the American people."

Olson, who spent the last four years as director of strategic initiatives and outreach in the Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies, will join Atlantic Media as its senior director of the Government Executive Media Group and Defense One events.