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News Release

Monday, July 19, 2004
Contact: Brenda Bertrand
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Director Kay Coles James Chooses Senior Career GAO Official to Serve as Deputy Associate Director, Center for National Security

Ray Decker to focus on personnel transformation across security-defense agencies

Washington, D.C. -- U.S. Office of Personnel Management Director Kay Coles James has selected Ray Decker as Deputy Associate Director, Center for National Security in the division for Human Capital Leadership and Merit System Accountability. In this role, Mr. Decker will help direct human capital transformation on behalf of Director James at the Department of Defense (DoD), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of State, Department of Veterans Affairs, and the U.S. Agency for International Development. He will also be responsible for consulting on strategic human capital issues and compliance in these agencies.

"Ray will play a key role in assuring that the implementation of new personnel systems in the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security are carried out in a way that meets the intent of Congress, reflects sound human capital practices and is fully in accordance with Merit Principles and veterans' preference," James said. "This is a role of critical importance, and I am pleased to have someone of his caliber and demonstrated expertise at the helm of these efforts."

Mr. Decker most recently served as a Director with the Defense Capabilities and Management Team at the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). In this role, he played a key role in GAO's review of U.S. efforts to combat terrorism, DoD's role in homeland security; chemical and biological defense issues; overseas and domestic force protection; space and information operations; chemical stockpile demilitarization program; and other national security areas. His team's work has effectively supported important post-9/11 U.S. Congressional requests and mandates.

"I am excited and grateful for the leadership opportunity I have been given by Director James," Decker said. "Clearly, an effective federal workforce responsible for national security is critical at this time for our nation. The challenge for all parties to further strive for and achieve a more results-oriented government is significant and attainable."

Prior to joining GAO in 1999, Mr. Decker served in various supervisory positions within the national security and defense community since 1982. He is a graduate of the Leadership Development Program, Center for Creative Leadership and the Federal Executive Institute's Leadership for a Democratic Society.

After graduating with merit from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1972, Mr. Decker served in the United States Marine Corps as a pilot and advanced flight instructor during his active duty service. He retired from the Marine Corps Reserve after 28 years of combined duty in operational and staff assignments stateside and abroad.

He is a fellow of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Seminar XXI Program and Harvard's Senior Executive Fellow's Program.

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