Dan Blair, former acting Office of Personnel Management director, and Jeffrey Neal, former chief human capital officer of the Department of Homeland Security, discuss the nomination of Dale Cabaniss to be OPM director, and what she should focus on if confirmed.
President Trump nominated Dale Cabaniss to be the next director of the Office of Personnel Management. Cabaniss has recently served as staff director of Senate Subcommitee on financial services, and as chairman of the Federal Labor Relations Authority. If confirmed by the Senate, she will have a lot of work ahead of her. Dan Blair, former acting OPM director and senior counselor at the Bipartisan Policy Center, says that she has enough experience to deal with all of the programs and issues OPM is facing. “One of the things that I think she’ll be looking at during the whole confirmation process is the impact of this proposed merger as it goes through the process on OPM. What I’ve been reading about her, and I have known her personally for about 25 years, is that a lot of the focus has been on her management and chairmanship at FLRA, which is important. But she was also the chief clerk of the Financial Services subcommittee, Appropriations subcommittee in the Senate. That gives her an insider’s view of the finances of not only OPM but GSA,” Blair said. She is going to be a formidable force. She is going to exercise strong leadership. And I think she’s a perfect candidate for this job. Jeffrey Neal, former chief human capital officer of the Department of Homeland Security and senior vice president of ICF, believes that it’s important for the new OPM director to focus on greater workforce issues rather than political ones. “You know, we also have a few things that we have to worry about right now. The federal workforce is aging rapidly, we have a lot of people eligible to retire, we have a lot more becoming eligible over the next few years. It is incredibly difficult to hire employees right now. The federal workforce is seeming kind of demoralized,” Neal said. “The job is basically the chief HR officer for the federal government. I hope she is spending more time on policy issues and on the needs of the workforce than the inside baseball issue of where a particular part of OPM might sit next year.”