Obama Nominates Two to Serve on the Merit Systems Protection Board

As he has recently with the FLRA, the President nominated two experienced Washington Hands to fill vacancies at the Merit Systems Protection Board.

The President has nominated Ms. Susan Tsui Grundmann to be Chairman of the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB).

The President also nominated Ms. Anne M. Wagner as a Member of the Merit Systems Protection Board, with the Designation of Vice Chair.


Anne M. Wagner (No Picture Available)

Anne Wagner is currently the General Counsel of the Personnel Appeals Board of the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Prior to that, she served a five year statutory term as an adjudicating Member of the Personnel Appeals Board having been appointed to that position by the Comptroller General of the United States.

Ms. Wagner began her career as a staff attorney in the Office of the General Counsel for the General Services Administration.  From there, she went on to become an Assistant General Counsel for the American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO. Ms. Wagner graduated from the University of Notre Dame and received her J.D. from the George Washington University Law School.

 Susan Tsui Grundmann

Ms. Grundmann is currently General Counsel to the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE), a component of  the International Association of Machinist and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW).

Prior to joining NFFE, she served as General Counsel to the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA).  She earned her undergraduate degree at American University and her law degree at Georgetown University Law School.


New Chefs, Old Cookbook

In a prior article, I likened the Board to Emeril Legasse or Julia Child having given Federal Agencies a cookbook to use in dealing with employee problems.  I actually got a call from someone at the Board to tell me that some members were concerned about that comment as a negative reflection but were advised that just the opposite was true. The Board and Federal Circuit have laid out a body of clear and responsible case law which practitioners can use to deal with sometimes extraordinarily complex and difficult issues. 

I hope that both Ms. Grundmann and Ms. Wagner consider the traditions of the Board in leaving their mark on its case law. Agency practitioners need practical, useable guidance in helping managers address issues. 

In my classes, I hear from managers the difficulty of dealing with leave problems under the Family and Medical Leave Act; the challenges of addressing problem performance and other complex issues. The Board, so rarely political as the Federal Labor Relations Authority frequently is, has a great responsibility to maintain order and structure while insuring fairness and due process.

Any opinion expressed above is mine and mine alone.


About the Author

Bob Gilson is a consultant with a specialty in working with and training Federal agencies to resolve employee problems at all levels. A retired agency labor and employee relations director, Bob has authored or co-authored a number of books dealing with Federal issues and also conducts training seminars.