OPM names transition leadership for new background check bureau

The Office of Personnel Management named a pair of senior officials Friday to lead its transition to the National Background Investigations Bureau.

The Office of Personnel Management named a pair of senior officials Friday to lead efforts to establish the National Background Investigations Bureau, a new background investigations agency that will replace OPM’s Federal Investigative Services.

James Onusko from the Department of Veterans Affairs will serve as transition team leader, and his deputy will be Christy Wilder, formerly of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.  

In his new role, Onusko will lead the interagency team, as directed President Barack Obama in January announcement of NBIB, to reform the security clearance process and protect the information it gathers. 

“The transition team will be focused on standing up NBIB in a way that strengthens how the Federal Government conducts background investigations and protects vital information,” OPM spokesman Sam Schumach said in a statement.


The bureau will be located within OPM, and Defense Department will deploy its back-end IT.

News of the new NBIB comes after breaches in OPM’s systems compromised the identities of millions of federal employees and background check applicants in late 2014. The office is one of a number of results from a long delayed 90-day suitability and security review conducted by the Performance Accountability Council in the wake of the hacks, believed to be the work of Chinese intelligence. The review was initiated July 9, 2015. 

At VA, Onusko served as executive director of personnel security and identity management, and spent nearly a decade at the State Department as director of the Office of Personnel Security and Suitability. Wilder worked in ODNI’s Office of Legislative Affairs, where she supported the National Counterintelligence and Security Center.

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Billy Mitchell

Written by Billy Mitchell

Billy Mitchell is Senior Vice President and Executive Editor of Scoop News Group's editorial brands. He oversees operations, strategy and growth of SNG's award-winning tech publications, FedScoop, StateScoop, CyberScoop, EdScoop and DefenseScoop. After earning his degree at Virginia Tech and winning the school's Excellence in Print Journalism award, Billy received his master's degree from New York University in magazine writing.

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