GSA's Office of Government-wide Policy is pleased to announce the appointments of Millisa L. Gary as GSA's first AbilityOne program executive and Maria C. Swaby as GSA's new procurement ombudsman.
AbilityOne, a procurement program aimed at increasing employment opportunities for American citizens who are blind or disabled, leverages a national network of more than 600 non-profit agencies that employ more than 40,000 people. It delivers fair market-priced products and services to the Government, with professional contract management. For many years, GSA has been very proud to be the largest civilian partner to AbilityOne and we anticipate significant changes coming out of the recent 898 panel recommendations. In her new role, Millisa will ensure that we award contracts and services at good prices, that we modernize the solution offerings, and that we support employing more Americans with disabilities.
I want to thank Millisa Gary for her great work as GSA's first procurement ombudsman. Millisa created the ombudsman program and used the role to improve the state of GSA's partnership with industry. Through Reverse Industry Training events, she enabled GSA to reduce its cost of acquisition, increase competition, and improve acquisition outcomes. She resolved hundreds of industry complaints, aided them in identifying the right agency or organization to resolve the issue, and used structured data analytics to aid collaboration. Millisa holds a B.S. from George Mason University and an M.B.A. from Averett University.
Maria C. Swaby, most recently served as GSA's Suspension and Debarment Official (SDO) and Agency Protest Official (APO), and assumed the position of agency procurement ombudsman effective October 1, 2019.
Prior to the SDO and APO positions, Maria was responsible for the management and oversight of GSA's suspension and debarment program and the agency protest and eligibility determination functions. She has more than a decade of prior experience in the private sector where she started-up and ran the
Government Business Sector of a large company and was responsible for getting that company on the GSA Multiple Awards Schedule. Maria also practiced labor and employment litigation in a large law firm in Connecticut.
Holding both a J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law and an LL.M degree (Government Contracts Law concentration) from The George Washington Law School, Maria is a former co-chair of the ABA Suspension & Debarment subcommittee and speaks regularly to the legal, government, contractor and public procurement communities on the subjects of suspension and debarment and protests.
William (Bill) Schmidt, current deputy director of the Suspension & Debarment Division of GSA, stepped into the role of acting SDO and Acting APO on October 1, 2019. As deputy director, Bill has helped set goals and a strategic direction for the division, while also managing its day-to-day operations. He holds a J.D. from The George Washington University Law School, was a government contracts associate at two law firms, and has published articles on government contracting issues.