DorobekINSIDER: Kempf named to head GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service

Tuesday - 7/13/2010, 12:22pm EDT

Steve Kempf has been named to lead GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service.

Kempf has been serving the acting commissioner of GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service since the departure of Jim Williams in April.

GSA's Kempf

The Federal Acquisition Service is the big buyer for government. It oversees contracts such as the GSA schedule contracts, the multi-billion dollar Alliant contract, and the Networx telecommunications contract.

There were four finalists for the FAS job. Kempf was seen as the front-runner. That surprised that GSA Administrator Martha Johnson would select Kempf, selecting somebody from inside the organization.

That being said, Kempf is well respected both within the procurement community, in industry, and within GSA. And he won high praise for his performance at a recent hearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight, which focused on the number of government multiple-award contracts.

In addition to naming Kempf as FAS commissioner, Johnson also announced that Jon Jordan will become the permanent deputy commissioner.

“Jon has worked in GSA and FAS’ budget programs for over 36 years and his deep operational knowledge, commitment to excellence and good stewardship of taxpayer dollars will be invaluable to FAS’ future,” Johnson said in a note to staff.

Here is the note Johnson sent to GSA staff:

To:  GSA Employees
From: Administrator Martha Johnson
Subject: FAS Commissioner Announcement

Many of you have heard me speak of this as GSA’s moment. We have set aggressive goals and been challenged to play a leading role in key Administration priorities by the White House. We are on the frontline for championing sustainability, open government, acquisition performance, flexible workplace and more. Leadership and enterprise positioning will be key to our success.

Therefore, I am delighted to announce today that Steve Kempf has accepted my offer to be the next Commissioner of GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service, one of our most critical leadership positions.

As GSA steps forward, so, too, will FAS be facing a challenge. FAS has expertise, operational know-how, and extensive customer knowledge. Used well, these will position FAS to gain further market credibility by offering customer agencies real value as they strive to meet their missions under constrained resources.  This opportunity is real, and it is now.

At this critical juncture in FAS’ history and as an 18 year veteran of FAS, Steve brings significant expertise to the Commissioner role having served as a contracting officer, lawyer, and business professional. Equally as impressive is Steve’s leadership style. He is collaborative, inclusive and
eager for change. I am confident that Steve will combine his deep roots, loyalty, and enthusiasm for FAS and transform it into our customers’ hands down, preferred, acquisition partner.

For starters, Steve has already made strides in:

•     Revitalizing FAS’ relationships with its customers;
•     Appointing an executive to champion innovation and transformation across FAS;
•     Driving forward on the Zero Environmental Footprint goal and other key enterprise objectives;
•     Building leadership prowess and a workforce positioned for success;
•     Completing and executing the FAS strategic reviews and implementation plans for key programs;
•     Deepening change management capacity; and
•     Communicating constantly with employees, customers, industry, and stakeholders to bolster FAS’ ability to perform with excellence.

In addition, I am delighted to announce that Jon Jordan will become the permanent Deputy Commissioner. Jon has worked in GSA and FAS’ budget programs for over 36 years and his deep operational knowledge, commitment to excellence and good stewardship of taxpayer dollars will be invaluable to FAS’ future.

Please join me in congratulating both Steve and Jon on their permanent appointments and pledge to give them the support they and FAS will need to turbo-charge its future.