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Obama Picks Vance-Cooks to Head GPO | Campus Notebook

President Barack Obama on Thursday said he would nominate Davita Vance-Cooks to be public printer, the lead officer for the Government Printing Office.

Vance-Cooks has been acting public printer since January 2012, and her nomination represents two firsts for the GPO.

“It is a historic nomination. She’s the first female and African-American public printer since we opened for business on March 4, 1861,” GPO spokesman Gary Somerset said.

Like many campus agency heads, Vance-Cooks will step into a challenging budget situation. In February, she told the House Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee that if the sequester were kept in place, the GPO might face funding shortfalls in trying to meet congressional printing and publishing requirements.

The agency also released a five-year plan in October that seeks to continue investing in digital operations, with Vance-Cooks saying in the plan’s introduction that the GPO would “continue to adapt … as we transform ourselves into the official, digital information platform for the federal government.”

Such sentiments got a shoutout this week from Joint Committee on Printing Chairman Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., who said at his panel’s organizing meeting on Tuesday that he was fully supportive of the GPO’s digital efforts and looked forward to seeing them continue.

Vance-Cooks has been deputy public printer since December 2011. She’s been with the GPO since 2004, when she came on board as deputy managing director of customer services. She went on to become managing director of publications and information sales and, later, chief of staff.

Her private sector résumé includes stints as general manager of HTH Worldwide Insurance Services, a vice president at Digital Insurance and several roles with NYLCare Health Plans. She has a bachelor’s degree from Tufts University and an MBA from Columbia University.

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