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PSC picks DOD official as Soloway replacement

The Professional Services Council has picked a Defense Department veteran as its new CEO, replacing long-time leader Stan Soloway, himself a former DOD official.

David J. Berteau is the assistant secretary of Defense for Logistics and Materiel Readiness. He’ll take the reins on March 28.

Berteau has held his current post since 2014 when he was appointed by President Obama. He also held a variety of DOD leadership positions from 1981 to 1993. In between 1993 and 2014, he worked at SAIC and was a consultant at Clark & Weinstock. From 2008 to 2014, he was an official at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He’s also taught at the University of Texas at Austin, Georgetown University, and Syracuse University.

His career inside and outside of government has been marked by a focus on acquisition, logistics, personnel and budgets.

“David has worked at high levels in government, in the private sector and in academia, always focusing on the heart of what PSC does,” said Ellen Glover, chairman of PSC and executive vice president of ICF International, in a PSC news release.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to lead such a respected organization in the fields of government technology and professional services,” Berteau said. “Stan Soloway did a great job growing and improving the Council. I’m eager to build on those accomplishments and to promote an open and competitive federal marketplace in which government benefits from the best solutions that industry has to offer.”

Soloway led PSC for 15 years and oversaw many changes at the organization including the acquisition and merger with other industry groups.

The market has undergone significant changes over the last decade, and more are likely on the way as technology and services converge into new offerings and ways of doing business, the best example of which is the X-as-a-service phenomenon.

Like the man he replaces, Berteau has spent a career focused on acquisition and better government performance.

During his confirmation hearing for his current post at DOD, Berteau recounted how he started as a career civil servant at the Pentagon in 1981 and supported acquisition reform efforts known as the Carlucci Initiatives. Frank Carlucci was Defense Secretary under President Carter. Berteau also was executive secretary of the Packard Commission in 1985-1986, which was charged with studying management issues at DOD. The commission was chaired by Hewlett-Packard co-founder David Packard.

As part of that work, he supported William Perry’s writing of the commission’s acquisition reform recommendations. Perry was later Defense Secretary under President Clinton.

One of the topics he spoke about during his confirmation hearing for his current position was the burden of reporting requirements that DOD and its contractors face.

“From my work on acquisition issues in the Defense Department, as a contractor, and as an academic scholar, my perspective is that Congress and this committee could most usefully focus on streamlining and integrating what some have called the ‘patchwork quilt’ of statutes that drive regulations on risk reduction, acquisition strategies, and sustainment,” Berteau told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

He cited DOD’s Instruction 5000.2, which includes 30 pages of requirements with different timelines, thresholds, and reporting requirements. These numerous requirements can actually have the opposite effect and undermine accountability.

“I would also focus on acquisition practices that help meet the needs or requirements of deployed forces,” he said.

In other words, focus on outcomes over process and not the other way around.

During his time at CSIS, Berteau also worked on a variety of defense and national security issues, such as U.S. force posture in the Asia Pacific region. He eventually became director of the National Security Program on Industry and Resources.

On paper, at least, it looks like Berteau has the background and expertise to move PSC’s mission forward.

John Goodman, chief operating officer at Accenture Federal Services and incoming PSC chairman, said that Berteau’s background made him the right choice.

“David’s outstanding work experience makes him an excellent fit for the job,” Goodman said.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Mar 01, 2016 at 6:31 AM


Reader Comments

Wed, Mar 2, 2016

Stan is an impossible act to follow. Bertau is an above average govt official, but tends to be academic and would not have the PR and lobbying skills of Stan. At SAIC he was more known for delivery than marketing and sales and pressing the flesh on important issues related to the business (as opposed to pleading the causes of clients). He is very bright and presentable and energetic of course. But he is no Stan.

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