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Our People & Organization Senior Staff Bios

John Berry

OPM Director (April 13, 2009 – April 13, 2013)

John Berry, Director of the United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM), was selected by President Obama as the federal government’s chief people person.  He is responsible for recruiting, hiring, and setting benefits policies for 1.9 million federal civilian employees.

Berry began his career in government as an intern with Montgomery County government and then as a legislative aide in the Maryland General Assembly.  He then joined the staff of Congressman Steny Hoyer as legislative director. 

Over the course of his career, Berry has gained a reputation for good management and turning around troubled organizations.  He has taken leadership roles at the Departments of Interior, where he was CFO and COO, and the Treasury, where he was responsible for 40% of Federal law enforcement officers, including the Secret Service.

He served as Director of the National Zoo – his dream job – and has a lion cub there named in his honor.  In 2009, Berry was confirmed by the Senate as Director of OPM and became the highest ranking openly gay official in U.S. history.

Under his leadership, OPM has reformed and streamlined Federal hiring practices, boosted Veterans hiring in Federal government to a 20-year high, and – with partners across government – eliminated security clearance backlogs that dated back to 2001.  OPM is taking the lead on government-wide initiatives to enhance performance management, improve the diversity of the Federal government, speed retirement processing, and make recruitment of student and recent graduates easier.


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