Denise Turner Roth was sworn in Friday as administrator of the General Services Administration.
Roth had served as acting GSA administrator since February when her predecessor Dan Tangherlini resigned and took a position as chief organization officer of Artemis Real Estate Partners.
President Barack Obama nominated her to serve as administrator in an official capacity in May, and Wednesday the Senate confirmed her nomination.
“Today’s decision by the Senate is a vote of confidence in GSA’s ability to deliver the best value in real estate, acquisition, and technology services to the government and American people,” Roth said of her confirmation. “My vision moving forward is for the agency to be a proactive federal partner for government, and an economic catalyst for local communities, while also continuing our efforts to drive operational excellence. I am honored to serve the people and partners of GSA, and I am honored to serve this administration.”
Prior to stepping into the administrator role, Roth served as GSA deputy administrator beginning in March 2014. Before that, she spent three years as city manager of Greensboro, North Carolina.
“When former Administrator Dan Tangherlini left the agency earlier this year, he left some big shoes to fill. Fortunately, though, Denise Turner Roth stepped up to the plate,” Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said after Roth’s confirmation vote. “During her service as Deputy Administrator and Acting Administrator, Ms. Roth has demonstrated her ability to take on a difficult and demanding job, and her commitment to lead GSA with the efficiency and effectiveness it deserves.”
During an early confirmation hearing before the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Roth ran into a bump in the road when Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said she would withhold her confirmation vote until she was given the deadline for completion for the agency’s longstanding project to consolidate contracting databases called the System for Award Management, or SAM for short.
McCaskill said six years since the project’s start, there’s no evidence of it being close to finished, and it’s nearly doubled in price from $96 million for the original work to at least $181 million.
“Contractors are making a lot of money off of this deal, and I just don’t sense that there’s urgency … I think I got to just get downright mean to get a date and to get a price and to hold people to it,” she said at the July hearing. “This just wouldn’t happen in the private sector.”
However, Roth made good on the senator’s request, giving her a final deadline of Aug. 23, 2017, for the project’s completion and thus earning her vote.