President Barack Obama has chosen two lawyers with extensive experience representing government employees to lead the Merit Systems Protection Board, which rules on disputes between federal agencies and their employees.
The White House says that Obama intends to nominate Susan Grundmann and Anne Wagner to the three-member board, designating Grundmann as chairwoman and Wagner as vice chairwoman.
Grundmann has been general counsel since 2002 to the National Federal of Federal Employees, a union that represents 100,000 federal workers. She's represented the union before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and in disputes or negotiations with the Homeland Security and Defense departments, the White House says. Grundmann (American University, Georgetown Law) previously was general counsel to the National Air Traffic Controllers Association.
Wagner is general counsel of the Personnel Appeals Board of the Government Accountability Office, prosecuting violations of federal employment law. She previously served a five-year term on the Personnel Appeals Board, which has similar functions as the Merit Systems Protection Board but for GAO employees only. Wagner (Notre Dame, George Washington Law) spent nearly 20 years as a lawyer for the American Federation of Government Employees, the largest union for federal workers with 600,000 federal and District members.
Neither of the two current members of the Merit Systems Protection Board has similar experience representing unions. Chairman Neil McPhie was a longtime employee in Virginia state government, while Mary Rose held various positions in the Bush administration dealing with personnel. McPhie is due to leave the board when his successor is confirmed. Rose's term ends in 2011.
The positions require Senate confirmation.