Former Y2K czar John Koskinen takes post in D.C. government

Former Y2K czar John Koskinen takes post in D.C. government

John A. Koskinen, former chairman of the President's Council on the Year 2000 Conversion, has become deputy mayor and city administrator for the District of Columbia.

John Koskinen says the year 2000 rollover was the world's biggest management challenge in the last 50 years.

Washington Mayor Anthony A. Williams cited the D.C. resident's 30 years of 'turnaround management' experience.

'We welcome Mr. Koskinen's leadership and look forward to working with him on a range of issues facing the district,' Williams said.

'He has a longstanding track record in the public sector, complemented by a 21-year history of restructuring large troubled operating companies in the private sector,' he said.

Year-end success

Many observers credit Koskinen's coordination of year 2000 preparations with helping to avert a nationwide computer crisis on Jan. 1.

Serving as the leader of president's year 2000 efforts from February 1998 to March 2000, Koskinen coordinated federal date change preparations, as well as readiness efforts by local, state and foreign governments and the private sector for the rollover.

Year 2000 was the world's biggest management challenge in 50 years, Koskinen said after Jan. 1 had come and gone without producing any major systems government failures.

'To the extent that we see the results of a phenomenal amount of effort by individuals and the expenditure of a substantial amount of resources resulting in a positive result, I think that we should not underestimate the nature of the problem that was originally there,' he said.

Koskinen was deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget from 1994 to 1997.

The Cleveland native is a graduate of Duke University and Yale Law School. He also attended Cambridge University in Cambridge, England.

Koskinen replaces Norman S. Dong, who is taking a sabbatical after five years of city government service.

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