On the Washington Examiner.
President Obama will seek to appoint Beth Cobert as director of the Office of Personnel Management, he said in a statement on Tuesday. Cobert has served as acting director of the agency since July.
"Beth will bring tremendous depth and quality of experience to her role as director of the Office of Personnel Management," Obama said. "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."
OPM contains personnel files on more than 20 million people who have applied for security clearances from the U.S. government. After those files were stolen in a hack traced to China, former OPM Director Katherine Archuleta was forced to resign this summer amid criticism from members of Congress who said she failed to deal competently with the incident.
House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, one of the foremost critics of the way the breach has been handled, released a statement supporting Cobert's appointment. "In my initial meetings with Beth Cobert, she has impressed me as a talented, qualified, and competent choice for OPM director. I am hopeful that she can lead and fix this agency. I am pleased the president has opted for a credible selection this time rather than a political one."
However, Chaffetz added, he still wants to see the termination of OPM's chief information officer, Donna Seymour. "It is of huge concern that despite suffering a massive data breach and not working in good faith with the OPM OIG, CIO Donna Seymour remains in her position," Chaffetz said. "I strongly urge Ms. Cobert to immediately remove Ms. Seymour and replace her with a qualified CIO who will protect the critical information housed at OPM."
Seymour, who has been with the agency since before the breach, is accused of being slow to implement recommendations from the OPM's inspector general, complaining instead that the agency requires more funding to take the appropriate measures.