Leadership

The administration’s management expert is leaving for the private sector

Office of Management and Budget Deputy Director for Management Margaret Weichert is leaving government service after nearly two-and-a-half years and moving back into the private sector, the agency announced Feb. 14.

“It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve as the deputy director for management. I’m extremely proud to have had the opportunity to work alongside a talented group of federal employees to modernize and streamline our government. During my time at OMB and OPM, I’ve valued the opportunity to work with talented public servants, who are dedicated to improving how we deliver mission outcomes, improve service, and strengthen stewardship of taxpayer dollars,” Weichert said in a statement.

After serving briefly as a senior adviser at OMB, Weichert was named to the deputy director post in February 2018, and served as the acting director for the Office of Personnel Management while the agency lacked an official head.

“I want to thank Margaret for all of her efforts on behalf of the president. She’s been leading the charge to re-think how the federal government can better serve the American people. Through her leadership in developing and executing the President’s Management Agenda and her key insights into transforming organizations, Margaret has put forward solutions that will build a stronger America. On behalf of the entire Office of Management and Budget, I want to express my deepest gratitude for Margaret and wish her all the best in this next chapter,” said Acting OMB Director Russ Vought in a statement.

Weichert was responsible for spearheading many of the management reform initiatives proposed by the Trump administration, most notably those that impacted the federal workforce, such as pushing for more performance-based awards and reforming the federal retirement system.

Such proposals were not always popular with those they impacted or with Congress, and Weichert faced the brunt of congressional scrutiny over the White House’s plan to merge the functions of OPM under the General Services Administration.

Other initiatives, like the transition of the security clearance process from OPM to the Department of Defense, were met with more widespread support.

"Deputy Director Weichert has been a trusted partner for the Senate Intelligence Committee as we have worked on our shared priority of modernizing the antiquated security clearance process. She's a consummate professional, and while we will miss her leadership at OMB, I wish her all the best in her future endeavors," said U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner, D-Va., in a statement.

Most recently, Weichert expressed confidence in the management direction laid out in the fiscal 2021 budget and in the potential to turn legislative support to some of the more controversial initiatives.

“My goal has been to spark key transformations to better align government with leading practices from the private sector. Through the hard work and commitment of our team, we are now at a natural turning point, where the vision for transformation is clear, and the teams are successfully implementing against that vision. I am ready to pass the baton on knowing that the team is ready to continue to lead change going forward,” Weichert said.

Weichert’s departure, first reported by Federal News Network, will take place in mid-March, and a successor for her position is planned to be announced prior to that date. Weichert will return to the private sector to work as the managing director of commercial practice for Accenture.

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