Biden Taps Former Missouri Secretary of State to Lead GSA 

Then-Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, center, visits with candidates and their supporters waiting to file for statewide office on Feb. 28, 2012, in Jefferson City, Mo.

Then-Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, center, visits with candidates and their supporters waiting to file for statewide office on Feb. 28, 2012, in Jefferson City, Mo. Kelley McCall / AP file photo

Robin Carnahan also has previous leadership experience at the agency. 

President Biden announced on Tuesday afternoon his intent to nominate the former secretary of state of Missouri to be head of the General Services Administration.

Robin Carnahan served as Missouri secretary of state from 2005 to 2013, during which she ran for Senate. From 2016 to 2020 she was the director of the State and Local Government Practice at 18F, a technology consulting office within GSA that she founded. She is currently a fellow at Georgetown University’s Beeck Center where she co-founded the State Software Collaborative. 

“At GSA, Carnahan helped federal, state and local government agencies improve customer facing digital services and cut costs,” said a press release from the White House. “In particular, she taught and empowered non-technical executives about how to reduce risk and deliver better results for the public by more effectively budgeting, procuring, implementing and overseeing digital modernization projects.” 

The White House also noted, “She is a nationally recognized government technology leader” and was named one of the federal government’s “Top Women in Tech,” in 2017. 

“I've spent my career working to improve the delivery of government services to the public,” Carnahan tweeted. “[GSA] plays a critical role in the government's ability to effectively deliver services, and I am honored to be nominated by [the president] to lead this important agency at this important moment.” 

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., already said he will support her nomination. 

Katy Kale, who is serving as acting GSA administrator, tweeted that Carnahan, “brings proven leadership and unwavering dedication to delivering better results for the American public.” 

GSA––which has over 11,600 employees–– is the federal government’s landlord as well as deals with shared services, procurement, travel and technology services. 

The administrator is also tasked with ascertaining an “apparent” winner of presidential elections, which lets the formal transition begin. Last fall, then-GSA Administrator Emily Murphy attracted national attention and pressure when she waited 16 days to ascertain Biden as the winner after the news outlets called the race. This was due to the lawsuits challenging the results of the election by the Trump campaign. In her letter ascertaining the results she suggested that Congress amend the transition law because of the gray areas. 

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