Federal News Radio
Jason Miller
August 13, 2018

The General Services Administration’s Federal Acquisition Service is seeing a lot of movement in its executive ranks. Three key leaders announced they were leaving the agency, including Kay Ely, the assistant commissioner for the IT category.

Federal News Radio has confirmed that Ely announced her plans to retire by Dec. 31 after taking a 90-day detail to work on the GSA-Office of Personnel Management merger. Ely will leave her assistant commissioner role on Sept. 30 to go on the detail and work with the interagency task force.

Ely worked at OPM for five years before coming to GSA in 2011.

GSA’s Kay Ely speaking during an interview at Federal News Radio.

Sources say it’s unclear who will replace Ely on an interim basis with leading candidates expected to be Keith Nakasone, the deputy assistant commissioner for acquisition, and Bill Zielinski, the deputy assistant commissioner for ITC under Ely.

Along with Ely, Joel Minton, the executive director of the Login.gov program, and David Zvenyach, who was the assistant commissioner for the FAS Office of Systems Management until May when he became a senior advisor, announced their plans to return to the private sector.

Sources say Minton is headed to Google after spending the last two-plus years working for the U.S. Digital Service on the Login.gov program.

Sources confirmed that Alex Dalessio, a Presidential Innovation Fellow since October, will become the new executive director of Login.gov and Eric Mill, a senior adviser at TTS, will be the new deputy director.

Zvenyach sent a note to colleagues Aug. 7 announcing his decision to move on after more than three years at GSA and 10 in public service.

“I’m leaving GSA at the end of the fiscal year to pursue new opportunities outside of government,” Zvenyach wrote in an email obtained by Federal News Radio. “Although I’m happy to talk to you offline about those plans, my immediate plan is to keep running through the tape until my very last day.”

It’s unclear who will replace Zvenyach at this point.

“Six months after I joined 18F in 2015, I wrote that ‘[i]t’s truly hard to explain in this medium how intensely grateful I am that I get to participate in this little government experiment.’ That gratitude never wore off, and it never will,” Zvenyach told colleagues. “In fact, it intensified. Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to get to know many different parts of GSA. The agency is filled with extraordinary public servants, and I feel so fortunate to have had the privilege to serve alongside each and every one of you. Thank you. Although I’m excited for the new opportunities ahead, and I’m as optimistic as ever about the future of GSA, FAS, OSM, TTS, 18F, and (my first home) AcqStack, my enthusiasm is tempered by the fact that I will miss y’all madly.”

Ely’s decision to retire comes as several important FAS initiatives are getting going, including the transition to the Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) contract, the kick-off of the Alliant 2 governmentwide acquisition service and potential major changes to the schedules program.

She said at an event sponsored by AFFIRM in July that FAS is focused on being more innovative, using emerging technology such as artificial intelligence and distributed ledger to speed up the contract award process.

Zvenyach also is leaving a key time for his project, which is to transform the systems under the Integrated Acquisition Environment (IAE).

GSA recently launched a new beta version of the System for Award Management (SAM), turned off the old Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance, moved FedBizOpps.gov to a new hosting environment and enabled login.gov services across SAM.gov.

Minton’s decision to return to the private sector is less surprising. He worked at Intuit, eBay and several other large and small technology companies during his career so returning to the private sector at some time was expected.

He came to federal service to work for USDS on this specific program. Now almost three years later, Login.gov seems to have turned an important corner of getting agencies to use the service. Along with SAM.gov, two other major programs are using Login.gov services, including USAJobs.gov and the Trusted Traveler Program.