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

Obama names Nat'l Zoo Director to oversee federal workforce

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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

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

    ZOO Director for federal employees? BRILLIANT!

    March 3, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  2. paksa

    Former responsibilities as a 'zoo director' seems quite appropriate and he should fit in quite well – the whole scenario is turning into a ZOO!!! Ineptness and questionable reputations have been the norm in the new administration, including 5 nominees that owed taxes and some incapable of understanding their own tax forms. Nothing is surprising at this point.....

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

    Correlating experience? I would imagine that he will be able to apply what he learned from managing animals to the federal workforce.

    March 3, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  4. Sara from Arizona

    Another Clinton retread.

    March 3, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  5. Boston Irish

    National Zoo Director to oversee the Federal Government's Workforce? Hmm .... Guess Obama thinks the Government's Workforce are nothing but a bunch of animals. That's a nice description of all the one's Obama has working for him. NOT

    March 3, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  6. Darko

    "Nat'l Zoo Director to oversee federal workforce"

    the irony is oh so thick...

    March 3, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  7. DC Observer

    How fitting. A zoo director to oversee the Democratic animals.

    March 3, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  8. pete

    Oh great,

    Now we have a zoo keeper in charge of the people who work for the government. How wonderful is that

    March 3, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  9. Ted

    Good choice or not, Jon Stewart is gonna have a ball with this.

    March 3, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  10. nom deplume, esq.

    Is this for real??? Please tell me that this guy did something meaningful before running a second-rate zoo???

    March 3, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  11. Ray Fisher

    Can we say downsize??? A federal hiring freeze and period of attrition would help toward that 50% deficit reduction goal!!!

    March 3, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  12. Ken Sawyer

    He should be really qualified for this job and there should not be many changes in his day to day life . it will just be another day at another zoo.Only experienced one that has been hired.I hope he has paid his taxes.

    March 3, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  13. very fitting

    Obama finally picks someone who is capable of doing what is asked of him...... running a zoo

    March 3, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  14. Doug

    zoo director to over-see lib animals, wow, Obama got one right.

    March 3, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  15. Motruth

    Well of course he did. What more appropriate leader for this crew?

    March 3, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  16. New Day

    oh Mike, you silly man. If you don't like the president, it is your right as an American. But, to say that your faith hangs on the appointment of what amounts to be the HR director for federal employees is silly. I have been following politics since I was very young and I have never even heard of this office. What does that tell you?

    March 3, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  17. Bob in Pa

    We need this man to manage Congress !

    March 3, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  18. Evan, Wis.

    Are you serious? Talk about completely setting yourself up for late night puns and analogies.

    March 3, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  19. Chris - Denver

    Did he pay his taxes?

    Just wondering who served as National Zoo Director under Bush? Some nut who spent the whole budget trying to prove that 2 of every animal could fit on a wooden ark?

    March 3, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  20. peacenow

    If he is in charge of the zoo, he needs to be in congress and senate. they are the true animals.They need to be herded up and run out of this country. let them go to Israel, they send 3 billion to Israel very year, let them move there, hopefully at the Israeli , Gaza border. that should open their eyes

    March 3, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  21. Gary

    He can't even keep the animals from dying at the Zoo.

    Maybe he should clean that up a bit before accepting this position.

    March 3, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  22. No Hillary = No Obama

    I'd like to know how many of these appointments that Obama is making contributed to his campaign for President and the amounts they contributed either individually or under some umbrella organization etc.

    March 3, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  23. Arlette

    How appropriate! The federal workforce(?) has needed a Zoo keeper for quite some time!

    March 3, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  24. obama-mama

    You all are such haters. You should all be in a zoo

    March 3, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  25. Sarty

    Obama – you are so smart.
    Personnel at the Govt. is like a Zoo.So we need a good person to control these animals.

    March 3, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
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