Leadership

Trump taps HUD official to lead federal personnel office

President Donald Trump has looked to the existing ranks of his administration to fill the position in charge of personnel policy, announcing July 20 that he will be nominating John Gibbs, currently the acting assistant secretary for community planning and development at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, to serve as the director of the Office of Personnel Management.

The nomination comes after the previous OPM director, Dale Cabaniss abruptly resigned in March of this year, making her the second OPM director under the Trump administration to serve less than a year in the position.

The agency has spent more time under acting directors than under Senate-confirmed leadership during the Trump presidency.

Prior to his work at HUD, Gibbs worked as a conservative commentator and as a software engineer in Silicon Valley, a potential asset for the Trump administration’s effort to improve the technology used to hire and keep track of federal employees.

But OPM has also been at the center of controversy due to the Trump administration’s reorganization plans, as officials received pointed criticism from both employee advocates and members of Congress for efforts to move a majority of OPM’s functions under the purview of the General Services Administration.

The nomination itself comes at the eleventh hour of Trump’s first term as president, as both Cabaniss and her Senate-confirmed predecessor Jeff Pon each took about six months from the date of nomination to be confirmed by the Senate.

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