This is archived information. It may contain outdated contact names, telephone numbers, Web links, or other information. For up-to-date information visit pages by topic or contact our Office of Public Affairs at For a list of public affairs officers by beat, visit the GSA Newsroom.

Sawislak to Serve as Interim GSA Emergency Chief

GSA # 10454

February 28, 2007 
Contact: Michael Collins, (202) 501-1231


WASHINGTON – Josh Sawislak, senior advisor to Administrator Lurita Doan, will serve as head of the U.S. General Services Administration’s Office of Emergency Response and Recovery (OERR) while the agency’s Chief Emergency Response and Recovery Officer, Richard Reed, serves a one-year detail to the White House, GSA announced today.

“We have worked hard to significantly improve our ability to respond to national emergencies,” said Administrator Doan.  “Josh’s skills, background and participation on a variety of high-profile projects of national importance ensure that there will be no break in the superb leadership that Richard Reed established in GSA’s emergency response division.”

Mr. Reed, a nationally recognized emergency management expert, is serving as the Special Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Senior Director for Continuity Policy at the Homeland Security Council. ”Josh has been invaluable in helping me stand up the Office of Emergency Response and Recovery,” Mr. Reed said.

OERR was created on Nov. 1, 2006, to strengthen GSA’s emergency response capability.  It is designed to leverage existing agency resources to provide a new level of support and assistance to first responders, emergency workers, and recovery teams.

Prior to his appointment at GSA, Mr. Sawislak was involved in the planning, procurement, management, and delivery of major transportation and environmental infrastructure projects throughout North America.  He recently served as the Commonwealth of Virginia’s deputy project director for the $5 billion expansion of the Washington, DC, regional Metrorail system into the Dulles Corridor in Northern Virginia.   During his 20-year career, Mr. Sawislak also held management roles on New York's Second Avenue Subway and Boston's Central Artery/Tunnel projects, the largest transit and highway projects in the United States.

Mr. Sawislak, who will continue in his advisory role to Administrator Doan, replaces GSA Chief of Staff John Phelps as interim head of OERR.

For more information about GSA emergency response and recovery efforts, visit


Founded in 1949, GSA serves as a centralized procurement and property management agency for the federal government.  GSA manages more than one-fourth of the government’s total procurement dollars and influences the management of $500 billion in federal assets, including 8,600 government-owned or leased buildings and 208,000 vehicles.  GSA helps preserve our past and define our future, as a steward of more than 425 historic properties, and as manager of, the official portal to federal government information and services. GSA’s mission to provide superior workplaces, expert technology solutions, acquisition services, purchasing and eGov travel solutions and management policies, at best value, allows federal agencies to focus on their core missions.
Did You Know? GSA’s Disaster and Emergency Operations Vendor Profile form puts small businesses on the government’s radar so they do not miss out on federal contract opportunities in a time of disaster.  More than 1,500 small businesses have used the online form to identify themselves.

Last Reviewed 2010-04-30