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Free Government Information (FGI) is a place for initiating dialogue and building consensus among the various players (libraries, government agencies, non-profit organizations, researchers, journalists, etc.) who have a stake in the preservation of and perpetual free access to government information. FGI promotes free government information through collaboration, education, advocacy and research.

GPO Director Davita Vance-Cooks Departs Federal Service

GPO director Davita Vance-Cooks GPO Director Davita Vance-Cooks is leaving GPO for the private sector. Congratulations to Ms Vance-Cooks. The first African-American and first woman to lead the agency, she did so ably for 6 years.

While this shouldn’t be a surprise — GPO directors (nee “public printers”) are political appointees named by Presidents after all — the timing of this announcement is perhaps problematic given that the community is in the midst of discussions and possible legislation to change Title 44 of the US code, impacting both FDLP libraries and the operations and funding of GPO itself.

With that context in mind, the position of GPO director is extremely important in helping to drive positive legislative change while mitigating the possible negatives that always come out in the legislative process. The current GPO policies that are supportive of FDLP could literally change overnight with a different director. This makes the Title 44 negotiations all the more critical as the code is the force of law which tells GPO what they can and can’t do. So it’s important to keep the momentum going and get good policy into Title 44; and not just Chapter 19, but ALL of the chapters which have implications for GPO budgets and ability to continue to maintain FDLP activities.

The naming of Jim Bradley — a good ally to the FDLP program! — as acting director will hopefully ease the transition. And, since he’s been active in the title 44 debate, GPO and the FDLP hopefully won’t miss a beat.

The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) Director Davita Vance-Cooks has announced her departure from Federal service to accept a job in the private sector. By law, GPO Deputy Director Jim Bradley assumes the duties of Acting GPO Director until a replacement is appointed.

Vance-Cooks was nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate in 2013 to be the 27th Public Printer of the United States. Prior to confirmation, she served as Acting Public Printer for 19 months. A seasoned business executive with more than 35 years of private sector and Federal management experience, she was the first woman and the first African-American to lead the agency.

via GPO Director Davita Vance-Cooks Departs Federal Service.

Acting Public Printer Vance-Cooks confirmation hearing to be Public Printer

Davita Vance-Cooks (short biography (PDF)) sat today for her confirmation hearing to be the 27th Public Printer of the United States. Here’s the video of the full hearing.

Committee Chairman Senator Charles Schumer, who could not attend the hearing, in a statement, praised Vance-Cooks for her leadership and urged colleagues to confirm her as the 27th Public Printer.

If confirmed, Vance-Cooks would be the first woman and first African-American Public Printer of the United States.

More from the GPO press release (PDF):

The U.S. Senate’s Committee on Rules and Administration held the confirmation hearing of Davita Vance-Cooks to be Public Printer. The hearing was chaired by Senator Angus King and attended by ranking member Senator Pat Roberts and Senator Amy Klobuchar. Senator King read into the record an introduction of Vance-Cooks submitted by Senator Mark Warner. Vance-Cooks answered questions on her leadership, accomplishments and experience in the private sector and while holding executive positions at the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO). Vance-Cooks explained how GPO is no longer just a printing operation, but has transformed into the digital information platform for the Federal Government. “I have an unwavering belief in the vital mission of GPO—Keeping America Informed,” said Vance-Cooks. “I will ensure that GPO stays dedicated to that mission.”

President Obama Announces Intent To Nominate Davita Vance-Cooks As Public Printer

Press Release:

President Obama Announces Intent To Nominate Davita Vance-Cooks As Public Printer

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 9, 2013 No. 13-21


WASHINGTON – The White House has released the following announcement:

Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individual to a key Administration post:

Davita Vance-Cooks, Nominee for Public Printer, Government Printing Office

Davita Vance-Cooks is currently Deputy Public Printer of the Government Printing Office (GPO), a position she has held since December 2011. Ms. Vance-Cooks has served in a number of other roles at GPO since 2004, including Chief of Staff, Managing Director of the Publications and Information Sales Business Unit, and Deputy Managing Director of Customer Services. Prior to joining GPO, she was the General Manager at HTH Worldwide Insurance Services from 2001 to 2004. Previously, she served as the Vice President of Consumer Services at Digital Insurance from 2000 to 2001. From 1993 to 2000, Ms. Vance-Cooks served in several roles with NYLCare Health Plans of the Mid-Atlantic, which was purchased by Aetna during her tenure. Ms. Vance-Cooks received her B.S. from Tufts University and an M.B.A. from Columbia University.

Link to White House announcement: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/05/08/president-obama-announces-more-key-administration-posts

Link to Davita Vance-Cooks’ bio: http://gpo.gov/pdfs/about/Vance-Cooksbio.pdf

Davita Vance-Cooks Becomes Acting Public Printer

Press release from GPO:

No. 12-01


WASHINGTON-Deputy Public Printer Davita Vance-Cooks becomes Acting Public Printer for the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), the first woman to lead the agency. Vance-Cooks assumes her new role effective immediately, following the completion of Public Printer Bill Boarman’s term. She will serve as the Chief Executive Officer and lead the 1,900 GPO employees in carrying out the agency’s 150-year mission of Keeping America Informed on the three branches of the Federal Government.

Vance-Cooks is a seasoned business executive with 30 years of private sector and Federal Government experience. She has held a succession of senior management positions at GPO for nearly eight years including: Chief of Staff, Managing Director of GPO’s Customer Services and Procurement business unit and Managing Director of Publication and Information Sales. Before coming to GPO, Vance-Cooks held several private sector management positions. She was the Senior Vice-President of Operations for NYLCare MidAtlantic Health Plan where, among other duties, she was responsible for a digital print work center for production of variable data printing products. She also served as the Director of Customer Service and Claims, Director of Membership and Billing, and Director of Market Research and Product Development for Blue Cross Blue Shield Plans. She also served as the General Manager of HTH Worldwide Insurance Services. Vance-Cooks earned her Bachelors degree from Tufts University and her MBA from Columbia University.

“I am honored and humbled to serve as GPO’s Acting Public Printer and I look forward to continue working with GPO employees as we serve the needs of Congress, Federal agencies, and the public,” said Acting Public Printer Davita Vance-Cooks. “I want to thank Bill Boarman for the opportunity to serve as his deputy and Chief of Staff. I have enjoyed working everyday, side-by-side with Bill as we reinvented GPO into the digital information platform it is today.”

“I have great confidence and trust in Davita and her ability to serve as the leader of GPO as the agency begins its 151st year if service to the Nation,” said Bill Boarman, the 26th Public Printer of the United States. “Davita’s institutional knowledge of GPO combined with her experience in the private sector makes her the ideal person to assume the position of Acting Public Printer.”

Public Printer Boarman Appears On News Program

From GPO Press Release announcing Boarman’s appearance on a Washington D.C. television news show:

Public Printer Boarman Appears On NBC 4 News Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 27, 2011 No. 11-55


WASHINGTON-Public Printer Bill Boarman was a guest on NBC 4’s Viewpoint program. Boarman discussed a variety of issues about the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) with NBC 4’s anchor Jim Handly. The half-hour news program focused on GPO’s role in meeting the information needs of Congress, the White House, and Federal agencies. Boarman and Handly also discussed GPO’s 150th anniversary and transformation into the digital information platform for the Federal Government.

Link to video: