Cast of Characters
Zoo Director to Head Office of Personnel Management
Updated 3:47 p.m.
By Ed O'Keefe
President Obama has announced his intention to nominate John Berry to serve as the next director of the Office of Personnel Management. A veteran of the Treasury and Interior departments and current director of the National Zoo, Berry also once served as legislative assistant to Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.).
"From turning around the National Zoo to fostering a more productive work environment at the Department of the Interior, John Berry has a tremendous record of effective management in key public service roles," Obama said in a statement. "I'm confident that he will provide that same leadership at OPM to help ensure that government works for the American people the way it should."
The OPM director basically serves as the human resources manager for the federal government's more than 2 million federal employees. Among many other tasks, the director decides when to close federal government offices in Washington, D.C., due to inclement weather.
While with Hoyer's office, Berry worked on federal government employment issues and helped craft locality pay reform, issues of importance to the Maryland congressman, whose district is home to many federal workers. Those experiences earned him wide praise from Federal workers unions when his name first surfaced as possible OPM director in January.
Following his congressional work, Berry served as the Treasury Department's deputy assistant secretary and acting assistant secretary for law enforcement, later assuming the role of assistant secretary for policy, management and budget.
At the Interior Department, he served as director of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, working with then-inspector general Earl Devaney to address several financial and management issues.
Appointed director of the National Zoo, Berry implemented a strategic plan, a management reorganization, a 20 year capital master plan and secured funding for infrastructural improvements. Under his watch, the Northwest Washington zoo has also renovated the popular elephant house and seal and Sea Lion exhibits.
Posted at 3:01 PM ET on Mar 3, 2009
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