OPM Suddenly, and Again, Without a Permanent Director

Jeff Pon resigned from his position as Office of Personnel Management director on Oct. 5, 2018.

No explanation was given for the unexpected decision by the man who took office just seven months ago and has been pushing hard for reorganizing the office and the federal bureaucracy as a whole. Pon strongly championed the policies of the Trump administration, supporting the president’s call for a civilian federal employee pay freeze during 2019 and quickly implementing three since-invalidated executive orders issued in May with the intent of weakening public unions and making it easier to fire agency workers.

Margaret Weichert was immediately named acting OPM director. A fintech entrepreneur who last worked as a principal at Ernst & Young, LLP before entering federal government service, Weichert will continue as deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget will taking over OPM.

Federal News Network explained that Pon’s sudden resignation continues years of uncertain leadership at OPM.

Obama appointee Katherine Archuleta stepped down in July 2015 after news broke that tens of millions of government employees’ personnel records had been hacked. Beth Cobert guided OPM as it acting director for nearly three years as Trump’s first nominee to head the agency withdrew and Pon’s nomination ran into delays caused by congressional fights over the Affordable Care Act.