Walker to Step Down From GAO, Will Head New Foundation

Posted February 15, 2008 at 10:50am

Comptroller General David Walker will step down as head of the Government Accountability Office next month to become president of a newly created foundation dedicated to educating the public on issues of national fiscal responsibility.

That mission echoes Walker’s sentiments since he came to the GAO in 1998. During that time, he has not only spoken out on budget deficit spending, but he also has restructured the pay system at his own agency to reflect his views on fiscal responsibility.

Now he will head up the new Peter G. Peterson Foundation, an organization founded by former U.S. Commerce Secretary and Blackstone Group co-founder Peter Peterson. In this position, Walker said he will be able to tackle his “key goal” of getting Congress to address the nation’s fiscal challenges “before a crisis hits.”

“As Comptroller General of the United States and head of the GAO, there are real limitations on what I can do and say in connection with key public policy issues, especially issues that directly relate to GAO’s client — the Congress,” Walker said in a press release. “My new position will provide me with the ability and resources to more aggressively address a range of current and emerging challenges facing our country, including advocating specific policy solutions and courses of action.”

Walker is the first president and chief executive officer; he will help set the goals of the foundation and handle the day-to-day activities.

Peterson, 81, has pledged to contribute $1 billion in the next few years.

Walker officially begins on March 12, leaving little time for a replacement. Chief Operating Officer Gene Dodaro will fill in as acting Comptroller General until a replacement is found.