President Obama has nominated acting Office of Personnel Management director Beth Cobert to permanently head up the agency.
Cobert took the acting position in July when then director Katherine Archuleta resigned in the wake of the data breaches that left the personal data of millions of federal employees at risk. Cobert also serves as Deputy Director for Management in the Office of Management and Budget, a position she has held since 2013.
Speaking about his intent to nominate Cobert as OPM director, the president said, “Beth will bring tremendous depth and quality of experience to her role as Director of the Office of Personnel Management. As Acting Director, Beth has effectively pursued strategies to strengthen cybersecurity and improve the way the government serves citizens, businesses, and the federal workforce both past and present. I thank Beth for her commitment to serving the American people and look forward to working with her in the months ahead.”
American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. said in a statement about Cobert’s nomination:
“Ms. Cobert has done an admirable job as acting director. She has answered questions about the data breach honestly, has taken steps to bring in-house the work associated with notifying affected employees, and seems to understand IT adequately enough to make sure that security measures are in place to minimize further breaches.
If confirmed by the Senate, she will need to confront all of the challenges her predecessors left undone. These include reducing the backlog of federal retirement claims, exercising greater oversight and control of the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program, eliminating inequities in federal pay systems and defending OPM’s prior work in administering those systems, ensuring agencies adhere to merit system principles in all employment matters, and ensuring agencies seek input from unions in pre-decisional discussions as required under the president’s executive order.”