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Deputy Administrator Bibb Welcomes New GSA Administrator Doan

As prepared for delivery

Remarks By
David L. Bibb
Acting Administrator
U.S. General Services Administration
Lurita A. Doan Oath of Office Ceremony
5/31/06

Ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure and honor today to introduce the next Administrator of the U.S. General Services Administration, Lurita Alexis Doan of Great Falls, Virginia.

Lurita, all of us bid you a warm welcome. We thank you for taking on this formidable assignment, and we thank your family – your husband and your daughters – for their support and understanding. I know their encouragement must be a tremendous source of strength and inspiration as you assume your new duties.

You walk into this office with an impressive record.

  • You are the individual selected by President Bush to lead GSA during this time of  tremendous challenge and opportunity;
  • Your ideas, credentials, and strength of personality led to bipartisan support and quick and unanimous confirmation by the U.S. Senate;
  • And you are about to make history as the first woman to hold the position of Administrator since GSA was created in 1949. The significance of this particular achievement will extend long beyond your tenure here, and though it will certainly make your family proud, it will also serve as inspiration for many generations to come.

You have also proved your skill and tenacity as a small businesswoman, having built New Technology Management, Inc. from virtually nothing but a great idea and a handful of business cards. As Virginia Senator Allen said during your confirmation hearing:

Through sheer tenacity, discipline and innovation (Mrs. Doan) nurtured her former company, New Technology Management, to become a leader in information technology services for the federal government.  The same leadership, commitment to mentoring and clear vision that helped build her business will ensure that she moves GSA forward to fully realize its place as the government’s foremost agency for acquisition and property management.

I would add that as one who has worked closely with GSA from the outside, you bring to this office a unique perspective that will certainly help us move closer to the President’s vision of a government that is results-oriented and centered around our citizens.

Your comments to the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee on many issues, including how we will specifically quantify GSA’s value to our client agencies, were welcomed not only by the members of the committee, but by GSA associates throughout the nation as well.

As an aside, I’m not sure, but I’d venture to guess that you will not only be the first woman to hold the title of Administrator, but also the first Administrator to hold a degree in Renaissance Literature.

I know our associates will also be interested in other parts of your background.

  • Mrs. Doan is descended from three generations of African-American entrepreneurs.  Her great-grandmother, a former slave freed during the tenure of President Abraham Lincoln, sold pralines on the docks of Mrs. Doan’s native New Orleans. Her grandmother began her secretarial business school in 1908 under the administration of Teddy Roosevelt, while her grandfather started an insurance company.  And, her father began a business in rental property and farm management under President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Now, Mrs. Doan will head a major federal agency under President George Bush.
  • Before becoming a successful entrepreneur, she had an impressive run in academia, graduating from Vassar College in 1979, receiving her Master’s Degree from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, and teaching at a number of highly regarded universities in Louisiana, DC and Northern Virginia. 
  • She is also a leader in her community. Her involvement with organizations such as the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Shakespeare Theatre of DC, the American Red Cross and the Whitman Walker Clinic illustrate her dedication to public service.
  • And, most recently, she has been serving on the Presidential Search Committee to select Vassar College’s 10th President, the Steering Committee for the Women’s Majority Network founded by Senator Elizabeth Dole, and the Steering Committee for the soon-to-be-built Shakespeare Theatre of DC’s new Harman Center for the Arts.

On a personal note, I would like to thank all of you for the support you’ve given me during the time I’ve led the agency. Specific thanks go to Kathleen Turco and Alan Swendiman. I would like to say that serving as Acting Administrator since last November has reminded me once again of the dedicated and world-class workforce that we have at GSA. Visiting with our regional offices, interacting with client agencies, and speaking at numerous events has also reinforced my conviction that there are great things happening at GSA every day.

Or, as Mrs. Doan has put it, there is nothing wrong here that can’t be fixed.

That said, you face major tasks, Lurita.

All of us appreciate your willingness to serve GSA and our country at this time.

And all of us – those here and those among a nationwide workforce that is 12,000 strong - stand ready to help you realize your vision for our agency.

First, however, there is a formal ceremony that must take place. This will include the formal oath of office, followed by remarks by Mrs. Doan.

At this point, I’d ask that Mrs. Doan and her family approach the podium as Judge Roberts administers the oath of office.

Thank you very much.