After Scandal, Tangherlini Swapped In At General Services Administration
Holy career moves! Dan Tangherlini, the former District Department of Transportation director-turned-Metro head-turned-City Administrator whom President Barack Obama plucked to be Chief Financial and Performance officer for the Treasury, has been named head of the General Services Administration following the resignation of Martha Johnson over "excessive spending."
And how. The Post reports that Johnson's agency, which acts as the federal government's landlord, spent $823,000 on a training conference in Las Vegas in October 2010—complete with a mind reader, commemorative coin set, and classes in how to build a bicycle. White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew said the president himself was "outraged by the excessive spending, questionable dealings with contractors, and disregard for taxpayer dollars."
The generally well-regarded Public Buildings Service administrator Bob Peck, a former head of the Greater Washington Board of Trade and frequent presence on panels around D.C., was "forced out" as well.
Agencies in turmoil are never that great to do business with—and D.C. does a lot of business with GSA—but you couldn't ask for a better guy for the job, from the District's perspective. The data-driven Dan Tan was former Mayor Adrian Fenty's brain, in a lot of ways (he was the one who hired Planning Director Harriet Tregoning) and understands what the District needs from its federal overlords. If he's allowed any freedom at all in his new position, feel good about the prospects for friendliness from one of D.C.'s biggest landowners.
Also: Read Jonathan O'Connell on why it's ironic that Peck got fired over profligate spending.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery