Mr. Levinson has headed the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) since September 8, 2004. HHS is among the largest departments in the federal government, encompassing Medicare, Medicaid, public health, medical research, food and drug safety, welfare, child and family services, disease prevention, Indian health, and mental health services. It also exercises leadership responsibilities in public health emergency preparedness and combating bio-terrorism.
As Inspector General, Mr. Levinson is the senior official responsible for audits, evaluations, investigations, and law enforcement efforts, relating to HHS programs and operations. He manages an independent and objective nationwide organization of over 1500 professional staff members dedicated to promoting economy, efficiency, and effectiveness in HHS programs and addressing fraud, waste, and abuse.
In the wider government accountability community, Mr. Levinson serves on the Executive Council of the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency, where he chairs the Committee on Inspection and Evaluation. He previously served as Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Public Inquiry. Earlier in his career, he was a Government Member of the Administrative Conference of the United States.
Mr. Levinson has devoted much of his career to government oversight. Prior to his appointment at HHS, he served for four years as Inspector General of the U. S. General Services Administration, where he oversaw the integrity of the federal civilian procurement process. He earlier served a seven-year term as Chairman of the U. S. Merit Systems Protection Board, where he oversaw the integrity of the federal civilian personnel system and adjudicated a wide range of personnel appeals pursuant to the Civil Service Reform Act. He is also a former General Counsel of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Mr. Levinson is a graduate of the University of Southern California, and holds law degrees from Georgetown and George Washington Universities. He is a member of the American Bar Association and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.
Mary Kendall spent much of her career as an attorney for Federal law enforcement programs and as a State and Federal prosecutor. She joined the Federal workforce in 1986 as an attorney for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of General Counsel. In 1990, she transferred to its Office of Criminal Enforcement, where she served for 9 years. Ms. Kendall became Deputy Inspector General at the Department of the Interior in the fall of 1999. She played an instrumental role in transforming the Office of Inspector General into an innovative organization dedicated to detecting Departmental fraud, waste, and mismanagement. As Acting Inspector General, she has continued improving the way in which the OIG conducts business.
Gordon S. Heddell was sworn in as the Inspector General for the Department of Defense on July 14, 2009, one year after being appointed as Acting Inspector General. Prior to joining the DoD IG, Mr. Heddell had served as the Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Labor since January 2001.
Mr. Heddell began his Government service in 1966 as an Army Chief Warrant Officer, Helicopter Pilot, serving in both Korea and Taiwan during the Vietnam-era conflict.
Following his military tours of duty, Mr. Heddell served for 29 years in the U.S. Secret Service, where he held various law enforcement, management, and leadership positions. He began his career with the Secret Service as a Special Agent, progressing to Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge in 1982. Between 1982 and 1985, he served as Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge in the Office of Administration, where he managed the day-to-day administrative operations of the Secret Service, nationwide.
Mr. Heddell then served for two years as Assistant to the Special Agent-in-Charge in the Washington field office where he directed investigations of threats made against the President, Vice President, and other high-ranking government officials in Washington, D.C. Between 1987 and 1989, he served as Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge in the Philadelphia field office, where he supervised complex criminal investigations relating to counterfeiting and various types of financial fraud.
From 1989 to 1991, Mr. Heddell served as Deputy Assistant Director, where he managed inspections of offices, as well as internal investigations into allegations of wrongdoing by employees, worldwide. He also served, in this capacity, for two years in the Office of Training, where he was the executive responsible for the development and execution of training programs provided to the Secret Service’s 4,800 employees.
Mr. Heddell assumed an executive position in the Vice Presidential Protective Division in 1993, as Deputy Special Agent-in-Charge. In 1995, he was promoted to Special Agent-in-Charge and served in that position until 1998. During his tenure in this division, he directed the physical protection of the Vice President and the security of the Vice President’s residence.
From 1998 until December 2000, Mr. Heddell served as Assistant Director. In this executive position, he led the Secret Service’s Inspection and Internal Affairs programs, worldwide.
In addition to dozens of outstanding performance ratings and numerous letters of commendation, Mr. Heddell was the recipient in 1997 of the prestigious Meritorious Presidential Rank Award for outstanding government service.
Mr. Heddell holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Missouri, a Master of Arts degree in Legal Studies from the University of Illinois [formerly Sangamon State University], and was a Woodrow Wilson Public Service Fellow while at the Secret Service. He is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and was the creator of the Secret Service’s mentoring program at two D.C. public schools.
In November, 2004, following his nomination by President George W. Bush, the United States Senate confirmed J. Russell George as the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. Prior to assuming this role, Mr. George served as the Inspector General of the Corporation for National and Community Service.
A native of New York City, where he attended public schools, including Brooklyn Technical High School, Mr. George received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Howard University in Washington, DC, and his Doctorate of Jurisprudence from Harvard University’s School of Law in Cambridge, MA. After receiving his law degree, he returned to New York and served as a prosecutor in the Queens County District Attorney’s Office.
Mr. George joined the Counsel’s Office in the White House Office of Management and Budget where he was Assistant General Counsel. In that capacity, he provided legal guidance on issues concerning presidential and executive branch authority. He was next invited to join the White House Staff as the Associate Director for Policy in the Office of National Service. It was there that he implemented the legislation establishing the Commission for National and Community Service, the precursor to the Corporation for National and Community Service. He then returned to New York and practiced law at Kramer, Levin, Naftalis, Nessen, Kamin & Frankel.
In 1995, Mr. George returned to Washington and joined the staff of the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight and served as the Staff Director and Chief Counsel of the Government Management, Information and Technology subcommittee (later renamed the Subcommittee on Government Efficiency, Financial Management and Intergovernmental Relations), chaired by Representative Stephen Horn. There he directed a staff that conducted over 200 hearings on legislative and oversight issues pertaining to Federal Government management practices, including procurement policies, the disposition of government-controlled information, the performance of chief financial officers and inspectors general, and the Government’s use of technology. He continued in that position until his appointment by President Bush in 2002.
We will be posting the bios of the other 12 Board members on an occasional basis.