President Joe Biden has tapped Krista Boyd, an attorney currently working for the House Oversight and Reform Committee, to serve as inspector general for the Office of Personnel Management, the White House announced Sept. 16.
As chief counsel for oversight and policy for the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, Boyd negotiated enactment of the Inspector General Empowerment Act of 2016 — which opened up public visibility into IG investigations and findings — and the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012 — which strengthened protections for employees that disclose waste, fraud and abuse.
The House Committee on Oversight and Reform also has some of the most direct oversight of OPM operations, meaning Boyd would likely be briefing her former colleagues if confirmed as IG.
The top watchdog position for OPM has been without Senate-confirmed leadership since the very first OPM OIG, Patrick McFarland, resigned in February 2016. He had held the position for over 25 years, the longest-serving Senate-confirmed IG in the federal government.
McFarland encouraged then-President Barack Obama to nominate Deputy Inspector General Norbert Vint, who has served as the acting IG since McFarland’s departure, to the Senate-confirmed post.
But both Obama and his successor President Donald Trump made four different nominations to the post, each either returned at the end of the legislative session or withdrawn by the president.
Biden also said he intends to nominate Nickolas Guertin, a current senior software systems engineer at Carnegie Mellon University with both military and civilian experience in areas like submarine operations weapons testing, combat management and cyber-physical systems, to serve as director of operational test and evaluation at the Department of Defense.
Biden will nominate current acting DoD chief information officer, John Sherman, to take up the permanent post, University of Michigan law professor Margo Schlanger to become assistant secretary for civil rights at the Department of Agriculture, and University of New Mexico professor emeritus Robert Otto Valdez to serve as assistant secretary for planning and evaluation at the Department of Health and Human Services.
Jessie Bur covers the federal workforce and the changes most likely to impact government employees.