Cheriyan to exit GSA

After leading a rapid expansion of the General Services Administration's Centers of Excellence program, the agency's Technology Transformation Services director will leave for the private sector in a couple of weeks.

GSA Headquarters (Photo by Rena Schild/Shutterstock)

The head of the General Services Administration's expert technology services operations will leave in mid-July, according to the agency.

Federal Acquisition Service Deputy Commissioner and Director of Technology Transformation Services Anil Cheriyan's last day at the agency is July 17, when he will return to the private sector, said the GSA in a June 30 statement.

Cheriyan joined GSA in January of 2019, after working as CIO at SunTrust Banks from 2012 to 2018. He was also chairman of the board of the Technology Business Management Council, a private-sector group that has been advancing ideas on standardizing IT management practices.

In the roughly 18 months on the job at GSA, he put those skills to work. He oversaw the agency's rapid expansion of its IT Modernization Centers of Excellence (CoE) program from two agency partnerships in the beginning to a dozen in 18 months, according to GSA. He won a 2020 Fed 100 award for his efforts to develop and push the CoE effort forward.

"In only 18 months, the Centers of Excellence grew from two to 12 agency partners, FedRAMP is on the path to automation, our Presidential Innovation Fellows doubled in size, 18F has secured ongoing work with over 23 offices in 18 agencies and, our platforms, like,,, etc. have become the go-to enablers for innovation," Cheryian said in an email to staff obtained by FCW. "In addition, in a time of crisis, we stepped up to the challenges presented and we did it well. Together, as One TTS, we’ve not only turned a strategic corner, but are driving change that will benefit the government and the American public for years to come. This is a legacy that I am very proud of."

Cheriyan took over TTS leadership after Kelly Olson, who had been TTS acting director and FAS deputy commissioner. Before Olson, who left in early 2019, Joanne Collins-Smee was deputy commissioner of FAS and TTS director. Collins-Smee initiated the of the CoE effort in 2018 before leaving for the private sector that summer.

"We are very grateful for Anil's service at the General Services Administration; our government works best when talented leaders offer their time, experience and expertise to public service," said White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy Coordination Chris Liddell in a statement. "During Anil's tenure, the Centers of Excellence program has continued to expand its impact across the Federal government and has delivered meaningful results for the American people. The Administration continues to prioritize this important work and the ongoing efforts of the IT Modernization Centers of Excellence."

GSA Administrator Emily Murphy said, "GSA is committed to continuing the important work Anil has led and I look forward to watching the talented TTS team bring about significant, meaningful change in federal IT for years to come."

A separate internal email from FAS Chief of Staff Karen Link said an acting director of TTS will be selected in the coming weeks.