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CPO News – September 1, 2017

Editor’s Note: On November 8 & 9, 2017, a select group of Chief Procurement Officers and other business leaders will come together at the Harvard Club in Boston’s Back Bay for the CPO Rising 2017 Summit, an executive symposium brought to you by Ardent Partners. The unparalleled speaker panel will highlight procurement-led innovation within the enterprise and across the supply chain as they discuss the topics that transform operations. Click to register and reserve your spot — hurry, seats are filling up fast!

From CPO to … Acting DHS Secretary: Elaine Duke Takes the Helm

On August 2, our friends at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) informed us that former Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) and longtime public servant, Elaine Duke, had been tapped by the White House to serve as Acting Secretary of DHS. Duke replaces retired Marine Corp General (and Boston native), John Kelly, as DHS Director, who had been selected as the new White House Chief of Staff. Duke, who had been appointed Deputy DHS Secretary on January 30, had been the founder and managing partner at Elaine Duke and Associates, a Washington-area acquisition and business consulting firm.

Prior to going into business for herself, Duke served as Under-Secretary for Management — a role she held between 2008 and 2010. Prior to that, Duke served as Deputy Under-Secretary for Management and Chief Procurement Officer, as Deputy Assistant Administrator for Acquisition at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and in various positions at the Department of Defense. Duke earned a BS in Business Management from New Hampshire College (now Southern New Hampshire University), an MBA from Chaminade University of Honolulu.

France’s Defense Procurement Agency Names Joël Barre as Director General

Last month, the Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA), the French Military’s procurement agency, named Joël Barre as its newest Director General. Barre has a long career in the French Government, including a 20 year stint in the Centre national d’études spatiales (CNES), France’s space agency, and 16 years at the DGA where he began his career. In his new role, which is roughly equivalent to the Chief Procurement Officer of the French Military, Barre will be tasked with finding €850 ($1 billion USD) in savings within the French Military’s 2017 budget while also preparing for a planned 2% increase in the 2018 defense budget. Barre earned degrees from École Polytechnique and the Institut supérieur de l’aéronautique et de l’espace — Supaero.

Berlin Packaging Names Kenneth Edwards EVP of Supply Chain

Also last month, Berlin Packaging, a Chicago-based provider of glass, metal, and plastic containers and dispensaries, announced that it has named Kenneth Edwards as its Executive Vice President of Supply Chain. In this role, Edwards will lead Berlin’s procurement, sourcing, and supplier management programs, as well as its Quality team that ensures their supplier base and product development teams meet company standards. Edwards brings more than 30 years of experience to the role, having last served as VP of Global Manufacturing, and VP and CPO at Beam Suntory. Before his six and a half years at Suntory, Edwards spent eleven years at Zurich Financial Services where he also served as CPO. Prior to becoming a procurement executive Edwards worked for nearly ten years as an engineering manager at Pepsi Cola. He earned his BS in Engineering from Bradley University and his MBA from Wake Forest University.

David Ross Joins New York MTA as Chief Procurement Officer

Media sources recently reported that David Ross, who had been serving as the Executive Director of Contracts and Purchasing at the NYC Department of Education (DoE), has been named CPO of New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA). Ross joins the MTA after nearly 13 years at the DoE, and brings some controversy with him. According to some sources, Ross oversaw a contracting and purchasing department with poor oversight, mismanagement, and fraud. Ross’s new position marks a return to the MTA where he spent nearly a decade prior to his work at the DoE. Prior to the MTA, Ross was the Senior Director of Procurement and Fiscal Management at the NYC Department of Finance. He earned a BSBA from Miami University and an MA in Economics from Simon Fraser University.

Los Angeles Seeks its Newest CPO

In some unequivocally good news, the City of Los Angeles is looking for a Chief Procurement Officer to fill a newly created position and oversee the city’s procurement operations. The position was born out of a government-wide analysis and restructuring of its sourcing, procurement, and contracting processes and operations, which lacked a centralized authority and leader. As a result, the City is looking for a CPO to lead them towards cost reductions, smarter buying, savings, and other notable goals, like process and technology implementation. Interested candidates should click the link here for more information. Good luck!

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