March 3rd, 2009
04:13 PM ET
11 years ago

Obama names Nat'l Zoo Director to oversee federal workforce

John Berry, pictured here in a 2006 file photo, is the President's choice to head the Office of Personnel Management.

John Berry, pictured here in a 2006 file photo, is the President's choice to head the Office of Personnel Management.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Obama plans to nominate National Zoo Director John Berry to be Director of the Office of Personnel Management, the agency that oversees the federal government’s work force, the White House said Tuesday.

“From turning around the National Zoo to fostering a more productive work environment at the Department of the Interior, John Berry has a tremendous record of effective management in key public service roles,” Obama said in a statement. “I’m confident that he will provide that same leadership at OPM to help ensure that government works for the American people the way it should.”

Berry previously worked in the Clinton administration in the Treasury and Interior Departments, and as a legislative aide for Maryland Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer.

The White House also announced Tuesday that the President plans to nominate Julius Genachowski to serve as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.

Click here to read the announcement on whitehouse.gov


Filed under: Obama administration
soundoff (116 Responses)
  1. cnnnewser

    Good choice!

    March 3, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  2. Bob in Dallas

    He can 't replace Pelosi !

    March 3, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  3. Jackie in Dallas

    No, no, the jokes are too obvious! But if this guy is used to dealing with the National Zoo, he's PERFECT for dealing with federal workers!

    March 3, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  4. KC

    From the Zoo to the Government.....yeah, that's about right.

    March 3, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  5. Mississippi Mike

    Is this a joke? National Zoo Director? If this guy has tax problems, I am going to lose ALL faith in this administration.

    March 3, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  6. Denver Mom

    Did he pay his taxes?

    March 3, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  7. rich

    National Zoo director to oversee Office of Personnel Managment. Boy, can't wait for the comedians to get a hold of that one! ^_^

    March 3, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  8. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    Ironic that a keeper of animals is now responsible for the "federal dogs" who underperform at overmarket wages.

    Perhaps John Berry can teach those old dogs some new tricks...like integrity, intelligence and innovation.

    March 3, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  9. Mariaelena

    Not a bad idea. If he can handle wildlife at the Zoo...what better place than the fed gov't?

    Brunswick,MD

    March 3, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  10. Judy

    Oh No! I can just see the animal (monkey and otherwise) jokes coming soon.

    March 3, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  11. Virginia

    Well, he will be in charge of one of the BIGGEST zoos in the world–have fun!

    March 3, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  12. Mark

    Hope he paid his taxes!

    March 3, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  13. D. D.

    That might be fitting in another workforce but we will see there.

    March 3, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  14. lopez in Gregory, TX

    I love it!!

    March 3, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  15. Ian

    Your hard earned tax dollars at work. Why does every tax payer need to shell out money for a national zoo director?

    March 3, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  16. still hoping

    There's a joke in here somewhere!

    A zoo director now heads White house personnel management.

    This is too funny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    We need a former Monopoly money maker to head the Treasury.
    And a former charity organizer to head the country. Oh yeah, we have that.

    What we need is a comedian to represent our country because the world will be laughing at us.

    Oh yeah, we have that too, almost, in Minnesota.

    March 3, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  17. joe

    Sounds like the perfect pick!

    March 3, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  18. Mickie

    Well, he certainly has the right qualifications because he will be overseeing a zoo now!

    March 3, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  19. Steve (the real one)

    CNN you are making it too easy to crack jokes on this story! I'm biting my lip, trying to stay strong!!!!!

    March 3, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  20. RJN

    I know the government is a zoo, but this is a bit of a stretch.
    Not sure what to think how can a National Zoo Director oversee the federal government work force.

    March 3, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  21. Jacque Bauer

    Zoo director?? Why, how appropriate this is for the Obama administration and his menagerie of wild animals now running this country (into the ground). He needs a ring master as well.

    (I suppose the loony libs will now try to make this out to be something racist...)

    March 3, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  22. Soccer Nana

    Well, If a horse trainer can oversee millions of dollars, I guess a National Zoo Director will be just fine; as long as he has paid his taxes.

    March 3, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  23. David S.

    Sounds fitting. The working for the federal government certainly FEELS like being at the zoo.

    March 3, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  24. Seen it all before

    Now this is one pick that makes sense – a national zoo keeper to keep the zoo that Obama is creating.

    March 3, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  25. RB

    ZOO Director for federal employees? BRILLIANT!

    March 3, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
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