Clinton nominates Lee for OFPP post
- By Christopher J. Dorobek
- Mar 09, 1998
President Clinton has nominated Deidre A. Lee as the next administrator of the Office
of Federal Procurement Policy.
If the Senate OKs her nomination, Lee will replace Steven Kelman, who left the Office
of Management and Budget post in September to return to his teaching job at Harvard
University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Lee was guarded when asked about her nomination. "This is the nomination stage
only, and there's a long way to go yet," she said. "At this time, I am not able
to comment on other issues."
Although not well known in the federal information technology community, Lee is a
career government employee--a rarity among senior White House staff members.
"We have heard some very good things about her," said Olga Grkavac, senior
vice president for systems integration for the Information Technology Association of
America of Arlington, Va. "We're supportive of her candidacy."
Lee, a native of Oklahoma City, has been the associate administrator for procurement at
NASA since 1993.
Kelman said that Lee's ability and skills have prompted her rise through the government
"I think Lee is a fantastic person and a fantastic procurement professional,"
Kelman said. "She's very oriented toward reform." Kelman said he was impressed
with the innovation and change at NASA under Lee's tenure.
If she gets the job, Lee must keep procurement reform on track, observers said.
She's got a tremendous challenge in maintaining the initiatives of the Information
Technology Management and Reform Act, said Randy Cole, an IT industry consultant and
chairman of the ITAA Procurement Policy Committee.
"She has a wonderful opportunity to continue to support these reforms and move it
out of the early regulatory stage," he said.
He also said Lee must create training and education programs for field-level employees,
who might not be attuned to reform initiatives.
Lee began her career at the Defense Department, working in procurement jobs in Okinawa,
Japan, Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., and Hill Air Force Base, Utah. She headed up the
procurement divisions for the NASA space shuttle project and other key projects from 1990
Lee earned her bachelor's degree from Central State University in Edmond, Okla., and
her master's degree in public administration from the University of Oklahoma in Norman,