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Washington, DC— The United States Senate today confirmed John Berry as the next Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
Berry was nominated by President Barack Obama on March 4, 2009, to serve as the Administration's chief advisor on human resources issues for the nation's 1.9 million Federal employees. Among his primary responsibilities will be improving Federal recruitment strategies and expediting the hiring process for men and women with a rich mix of talents who wish to serve America through the civil service.
"I look forward to getting to work with the great men and women at OPM and to advancing the President's goal of ensuring that our country's best and brightest continue to be drawn into the service of our country," said Berry.
OPM's statutory responsibilities include administering the Federal retirement system and various benefits programs, including the Federal Employees Health Benefits and Federal Long Term Care Insurance programs for Federal employees, retirees and eligible family members. OPM monitors agencies' compliance with merit system principles in recruiting, hiring, training and promotion. In addition, OPM will conduct more than two million background investigations in 2009 to ensure the suitability of new employees, as well as the trustworthiness of individuals needing a security clearance for work in positions that require access to classified information.
"As I said during the confirmation process, Federal agencies and employees will look to us for leadership on making the Federal Government the model employer."
Prior to accepting the OPM appointment, Berry was the Director of the National Zoo in Washington, where numerous management issues were addressed and resolved through implementation of a strategic plan and 20-year capital master plan.
Berry also served as the Director of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget at the Department of the Interior during the Clinton Administration.
Berry lives in Washington, D.C. He graduated summa cum laude from the University of Maryland with a bachelor's degree in government and politics. In 1981, he earned a master's degree in public administration from Syracuse University.
Our mission is to Recruit, Retain and Honor a World-Class Workforce to Serve the American People. OPM supports U.S. agencies with personnel services and policy leadership including staffing tools, guidance on labor-management relations and programs to improve work force performance.