The General Services Administration (GSA), the agency that acts as the landlord for thousands of federal properties, has been in need of a new acting administrator since January 2017 when Denise Turner Roth left office. Since then, Timothy Horne has acted in the position as the search for a replacement continued. This Friday, the nomination was finally announced for Emily Webster Murphy.
Murhpy, who has been described as a “logical fit” for the position, has had a long career in the government as well as the GSA, specifically. Below, see what is worth knowing about her and her career.
What is Murphy’s background with the GSA?
At the moment, Murphy serves as Senior Advisor to Horne, the acting administrator to the GSA, according to The White House’s Office of the Press Secretary. From 2005 to 2007, she also worked as the GSA’s first Chief Acquisition Officer.
As Chief Acquisition Officer, she executed an annual budget of $60 million and managed a staff of approximately 100, according to Murphy’s LinkedIn. She also standardized the GSA’s acquisition rules governing over $66 billion in annual procurement and revamped the government's procurement database to permit real time data.
What other relevant experience has Murphy had?
After leaving the GSA in 2007, Murphy went on to work in the private sector for a startup satellite telecommunications company, called TerreStar Corporation, until 2011.
Afterwards, she worked as a staffer for the House Armed Services Committee and the Small Business Committee where she was responsible for oversight, investigations, legislation, and outreach related to government contracting and workforce issues.
What should Murphy expect if she becomes GSA administrator?
Right now, the GSA is in the midst of a reorganization that will elevate the Federal Acquisition Service to include the Technology Transformation Services (TTS), which focuses on improving technology services in federal buildings, according to FCW.
Murphy may also have to face a general probe of the management and administration of the GSA, spurred by the GSA’s decision in March 2017 to decide that President Donald J. Trump’s administration is not in violation with the Trump International Hotel’s lease. This decision was made despite the GSA having a clause that states that no U.S. elected official is allowed to benefit from a lease.
There is also the issue that the FBI still needs a new headquarters. The FBI headquarters staff long ago outgrew the J. Edgar Hoover building with many employees now housed in short-term leases throughout the region. There is cracked concrete in the building as well as makeshift work stations in former storage areas. Despite this, the GSA decided to cancel the search due to “inordinate costs” in July 2017.
It is still possible that the GSA could start the search where it left off by seeking developers after selecting one of the three sites that were already decided on, which included Springfield, Virginia, and Greenbelt and Landover, Maryland. Even so, there are no reports of this occurring.
• Trump administration makes pick to lead the GSA [Washington Business Journal]
• Timothy Horne Named GSA Acting Administrator [Bisnow]
• GSA, OPM get new chiefs [FCW]
• Trump’s D.C. hotel doesn’t violate lease, says hotel [Curbed DC]
• FBI headquarters search canceled [Curbed DC]