As PBS Commissioner, Dr. Robyn leads one of the largest and most diversified public real estate organizations in the world.  The Public Buildings Service is responsible for providing superior workplaces for federal customer agencies at good value for the American taxpayer.

Dr. Robyn manages the nationwide asset management, design, construction, leasing, building management and disposal of approximately 375 million square feet of government-owned and leased space, accommodating over 1 million federal workers, and covering all 50 states, six U.S. territories and the District of Columbia. Additionally, Dr. Robyn oversees an annual budget of more than $9.4 billion and a workforce of almost 6,800.

Immediately prior to joining GSA, Dr. Robyn served as the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Installations and Environment at the Department of Defense. At DoD, she was the senior real property officer and provided department-wide oversight of US military bases around the world. These assets are valued at $850 billion and include 29 million acres of land, 300,000 buildings, and 2.2 billion square feet of building space.  Dr. Robyn led DoD’s facility energy initiative, which is designed to reduce the Department’s $4 billion-a-year facility energy bill and improve the energy security of military bases that are largely dependent on the commercial electric power grid. She also oversaw the final implementation of the 2005 round of base realignment and closure (BRAC), the largest BRAC round undertaken by DoD, and she led DoD’s effort to get additional BRAC rounds in 2013 and 2015.

From 1993 to 2001, Dr. Robyn served as Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and a senior staff member of the White House National Economic Council. She was responsible for issues in transportation and infrastructure, aerospace and defense, science and technology, and competition policy. Before she joined the DoD in 2009, she was a principal with The Brattle Group, an economic consulting firm that specializes in competition and antitrust, energy and the environment.  In the 1980s, Dr. Robyn was an assistant professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where she taught management and business-government policy.

She is co-author (with William Baumol) of Toward an Evolutionary Regime for Spectrum Governance: Licensing or Unrestricted Entry? (Brookings Press, 2006) and author of Braking the Special Interests: Trucking Deregulation and the Politics of Policy Reform (University of Chicago Press, 1987).

Dr. Robyn holds a B.A. from Southern Illinois University and a Ph.D. and M.P.P. in public policy from the University of California at Berkeley. She is a native of St. Louis, Missouri.

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Jeri L. Buchholz became NASA’s Chief Human Capital Officer and Assistant Administrator for Human Capital Management on Aug. 1, 2011.

As the Assistant Administrator for Human Capital Management and NASA’s Chief Human Capital Officer, Buchholz has stewardship responsibility for NASA’s workforce. She advises and assists the Administrator by carrying out responsibilities in accordance with the Chief Human Capital Officers Act of 2002. Her responsibilities include setting the agency’s workforce development strategy, assessing workforce characteristics and future needs based on the agency’s mission and strategic plan; aligning the agency’s human resources policies and programs with organizational mission, strategic goals, and performance outcomes; and, serving as a member of the Office of Personnel Management-led Chief Human Capital Officers Council.

Buchholz served as the Associate Director for Human Resources Operations and Policy at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. She began her public service career in 1981 as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She also has served as the Chief Human Capital Officer at the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General, as well as the U.S. International Trade Commission. In addition, she has held positions at the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the U.S. Information Agency and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

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More than 60,000 veterans live on America’s streets. Susan Angell, Mark Johnston and their interagency team have made major strides toward ending veterans homelessness by 2015.

Some have called it a “national disgrace,” the presence of thousands of homeless veterans on American streets and in shelters.

In an effort to confront this intractable problem, two federal departments have joined together to reach the goal of ending veteran homelessness by 2015. It is a challenging task given the high national unemployment rate and the influx of individuals returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, but the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have made significant inroads.

HUD and the VA reported a 12 percent drop in homelessness among veterans, from about 76,000 in 2010 to 67,000, as of January 2011. Officials are awaiting the full tabulation of the January 2012 census of the homeless, but expressed optimism that further progress has been made.

Leading the departmental teams are Mark Johnston at HUD and Susan Angell at the VA, both of whom bring many years of experience to the table, significant management skills, knowledge about housing and the needs of veterans. Angell’s team includes Peter Dougherty, Lisa Pape and Vincent Kane, while Johnston’s includes Ann Oliva and Laure Rawson, among others.

The collaboration is unusual, and has allowed both departments to devote expertise and resources to a problem that neither could solve alone.

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said Johnston has technical knowledge, an ability to build cohesive teams internally and partnerships externally, and a willingness to make improvements based on data analysis and feedback from the field. He described Johnston as an individual with “a quiet persistence” and an unwavering dedication to the mission.

“For Mark, it is always about the veterans living on the streets,” said Donovan. “It’s always that person or family in front of us that matters.”

John Gingrich, the VA chief of staff, said Angell and her team have been able to eliminate the “stovepipes” that in the past prevented full cooperation between the VA and HUD, and have brought commitment and urgency to serving the needs of homeless veterans.

“Why should someone who fought for our nation sleep on the streets?” said Gingrich. “Susan and her team see everything they do as changing the lives of veterans. For them, this is not a job, it’s a calling.”
The departments administer the HUD-VA Supportive Housing Program (HUD-VASH), which combines HUD vouchers for veterans to rent privately-owned housing, and targeted VA services such as health care, mental health and substance abuse treatment, vocational assistance, job development and placement.

The program works with public agencies and community organizations to implement many of the targeted interventions needed to assist veterans.

A key program tenet is “housing first,” with permanent housing as the starting point so caseworkers can find and check in more regularly with veterans, and more effectively provide services. The services help veterans get back on their feet and become productive, keeping them from ending up back on the street, in emergency rooms or in trouble.

HUD and VA regularly share information. HUD provides the VA with weekly updates on voucher use, along with detailed reports on the status and recent activity of every veteran in the program.

The VA tracks the number of veterans who are screened and approved for voucher eligibility, are referred to public housing authorities and receive vouchers. The team meets periodically with leadership at both departments to discuss progress and areas requiring improvement.

There are more than 30,000 formerly homeless veterans and their families receiving housing and support services. For fiscal year 2012, Congress has approved an additional 10,000 housing vouchers for homeless veterans that will allow the program to come closer to reaching its goal.

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** Photograph courtesy of the Partnership for Public Service

Charles Prow is the IBM general manager responsible for the Global Business Services’ (GBS) Public Sector business, which includes federal government, state and local government, and healthcare.  IBM provides a broad portfolio of services to the Public Sector to include:  transformational and strategic consulting; business and operational improvement of supply chain, financial systems, call centers, analytic and optimization solutions and human capital needs; systems integration, hosting, application management, and engineering; infrastructure and security; and a wide range of competitive sourcing solutions.

With more than twenty five years of experience, Mr. Prow has assisted large, complex organizations in the Private and Public Sectors transform their operations through operational improvement and technology implementation.  Specifically he has assisted Federal Defense and Civilian departments, Fortune 500 and mid-sized industrial, consumer goods, financial service and healthcare companies.   Prior to his current role Mr. Prow held positions as: vice president responsible for IBM’s Public Sector Business Development and Sales function; vice president of IBM’s Public Sector Transformational Outsourcing business; Partner-in-charge of consulting operations for the PwC Public Sector consulting business; and various business and program management roles.

Prior to joining IBM Mr. Prow spent sixteen years in a Public Accounting and Consulting Firms and four in industry.   Mr. Prow received a Bachelors of Science in Management and Data Processing from Northwest Missouri State University.  Additionally, throughout his career, Mr. Prow has completed more than 750 hours of continuing education in the areas of strategic and financial management; large scale transformation and change management; operational improvement methods and techniques; and technology transformation, methods and trends.

Mr. Prow has been involved in a number of technology and industry organizations throughout his career, most recently he served as Chairman, Open Applications Group, 2000 – 2002 and was heavily involved Supply Chain Council.  He has contributed to white papers and a variety of industry thought leadership products and presentations.

 

David Walker is the Founder and CEO of the Comeback America Initiative (CAI). In this capacity he leads CAI’s efforts to promote fiscal responsibility and sustainability by engaging the public and assisting key policymakers on a non-partisan basis to help achieve solutions to America’s federal, state and local fiscal imbalances.

Prior to assuming his current position, he served as the first President and CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. Previously, Dave served as the seventh Comptroller General of the United States and head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) for almost ten years (1998-2008). This was one of Dave’s three presidential appointments each by different Presidents during his 15 years of total federal service. Dave also has over 20 years of private sector experience, including approximately 10 years as a Partner and Global Managing Director of Human Capital Services for Arthur Andersen LLP.

In addition to his leadership responsibilities at CAI, Dave currently serves on various non-profit boards and advisory groups. He is also a member of the Accounting Hall of Fame, the Trilateral Commission, and the Sons of the American Revolution.

Dave has won numerous leadership awards both domestically and internationally. He also has authored three books, with the latest one entitled Comeback America: Turning the Country Around and Restoring Fiscal Responsibility (2010), which is National Bestseller. He is a frequent writer and media commentator, and is a subject of the critically acclaimed documentary I.O.U.S.A.

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