berryThe Washington Post is reporting that President-elect Barack Obama intends to nominate John Berry as director of the Office of Personnel Management.    Berry served in the Clinton administration as Assistant Interior Secretary and is currently the director of the Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C.  He would be the first openly gay director of OPM and one of the highest-ranking openly gay presidential appointees in history.

Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Victory Fund, praised the selection.  “It says a lot about Barack Obama’s commitment to equality in the workplace that he has apparently chosen an openly gay person for this extremely important job.  John has dedicated his career to public service, so it makes sense that he will be able help thousands of others who are willing to do the same.”

The director of OPM is the President’s principal advisor in matters of personnel administration.  The agency  is responsible for planning for the needs of the Federal workforce and for helping federal agencies improve human resources management.  Among other functions, OPM is responsible for recruiting and connecting job applicants with federal agencies who need staff, developing compensation and performance management programs, and administering benefits and personnel security programs.