2019 Getzen Lecture on Government Accountability
Getzen Lecture on Government Accountability
presented by the Department of Public Administration and Policy
Gene L. Dodaro
UGA Chapel, Athens
Monday, March 25, 2019
A reception will follow in the Candler Hall Lobby.
Gene L. Dodaro became the eighth Comptroller General of the United States and head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) on December 22, 2010, when he was confirmed by the United States Senate. He was nominated by President Obama in September of 2010 from a list of candidates selected by a bipartisan, bicameral congressional commission. He had been serving as Acting Comptroller General since March of 2008.
Mr. Dodaro has testified before Congress dozens of times on important national issues, including the nation’s long term fiscal outlook, efforts to reduce and eliminate overlap and duplication across the federal government and GAO’s “High Risk List” that focuses on specific challenges—from reducing improper payments under Medicare and Medicaid to improving the Pentagon’s business practices. In addition Mr. Dodaro has led efforts to fulfill GAO’s new audit responsibilities under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
As Comptroller General, Mr. Dodaro helps oversee the development and issuance of hundreds of reports and testimonies each year to various committees and individual Members of Congress. These and other GAO products have led to hearings and legislation, billions of dollars in taxpayer savings, and improvements to a wide range of government programs and services.
In a GAO career dating back more than 40 years, Mr. Dodaro has held a number of key executive posts. For 9 years, Mr. Dodaro served as the Chief Operating Officer, the number two leadership position at the agency, assisting the Comptroller General in providing direction and vision for GAO’s diverse, multidisciplinary workforce. Mr. Dodaro led the development of GAO’s strategic plans for serving Congress and improving government in the 21st Century. He also played a key role in guiding the agency’s efforts to highlight current and emerging issues that warrant attention from policymakers.
In leading GAO, Mr. Dodaro works with the Congress and the administration on major management reform initiatives, including the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014, the Federal IT Acquisitions Reform Act of 2014, the Fraud Reduction and Data Analytics Act of 2015; and the 1994 Government Management Reform Act, which expanded the Chief Financial Officers Act. Mr. Dodaro also has extensive experience working with state and local government officials.
Until 1999, Mr. Dodaro headed GAO’s Accounting and Information Management Division, the agency’s largest unit, which specialized in financial management, computer technology, and budget issues. While there, he directed the first-ever audit of the comprehensive financial statements covering all federal departments and agencies. Mr. Dodaro also helped conceive GAO’s strategy for strengthening computer security across government and led the updating of standards for internal controls in the federal government.
Mr. Dodaro, who holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Lycoming College in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and a member of the Association of Government Accountants. Mr. Dodaro has received recognition from numerous outside organizations throughout his career, including the National Public Service Award from the American Society for Public Administration and the National Academy of Public Administration, the Roger W. Jones Award from American University; the Braden Award from the Department of Accountancy at Case Western Reserve University; The Katharine B. Gebbie Lifetime Achievement Award from the Arthur S. Flemming Commission and George Washington University; and the Congressional Leadership Award from the Association for Federal Information Resources Management.
Mr. Dodaro is married to the former Joan McCabe and has three adult children.
The Getzen Lecture on Government Accountability is made possible by UGA alumni Katherine Getzen Willoughby (PhD ’91) and Dan Hall Willoughby Jr. (JD ’86) in honor of her parents, Evangeline Sferes Getzen and Forrest William Getzen, lifelong advocates of public service and education.