UPDATED: Council Confirms Branson for New Procurement Position (VIDEO)
At its June 16th meeting, the Montgomery County Council unanimously confirmed Cherri Branson as the new head of the Office of Procurement.
ORIGINAL POST – In this MyMCMedia extra, County Executive Isiah Leggett announces his appointment of Cherri Branson, a former County Councilmember with extensive federal government experience in procurement oversight, to head the Office of Procurement.
“To head the newly created Office of Procurement,” Leggett said, “I have chosen former County Councilmember Cherri Branson. With more than two decades of government experience at the federal and local levels, she is an ideal choice to direct procurement operations in Montgomery County. Cherri has worked to help increase the participation of small, minority and women-owned businesses in federal contracting opportunities. And, she supports my goals of making it easy to do business here and to ensure that all businesses get a fair shake.”
Branson brings to the director’s position, more than 20 years of experience at the federal level including government oversight in contracting practices and procurement.
Most recently, her service to County Government included a term on the County Council, from January to December 2014, filling the vacancy created by the resignation of Valerie Ervin (District 5).
For seven years prior to her term on the Council, Branson was Chief Counsel for Oversight for the House Committee on Homeland Security. In that capacity, she developed an oversight agenda which focused heavily on the contracting within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). As the newest agency with the third largest budget in the Federal government, DHS carries out much of its mandate through the use of contracts and grants. As a part of the congressional oversight function, she examined every facet of the acquisition process, including but not limited to, acquisition planning, factors used in the decision to use an Request for Proposal, the selection process, the determination of best value, the inclusion of operations and maintenance considerations, the award process, the post-award process and the bid protest procedures to determine whether appropriated funds were used in a manner that promoted economy and efficiency while assuring the agency’s ability to carry out critical mission functions.
Additionally, as part of her duties, she spearheaded all legislative and policy initiatives for committee action designed to increase the participation of small, minority and women-owned businesses in contract opportunities with the federal government, as well as initiatives to increase employment diversity.
As Senior Investigative Counsel for the same committee from 2005 to 2007, she conducted several major investigations intro contracting and procurement problems that arose in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
Earlier in her career, as associate counsel to the Subcommittee on Human resources and Intergovernmental relations Committee on Government relations, she conducted investigations of federal contracting practices.
Branson has a B.A. degree from Vassar College, a J.D. from Indiana University School of Law at Bloomington, and an LL.M. in Litigation from Emory University School of Law.