Before Amazon, Rung Reined in Redundant Federal Purchasing

April 20, 2018 Sam Skolnik

Before arriving at Amazon, Anne Rung says she was saving the federal government big bucks.

In her stint leading the Office of Federal Procurement Policy from 2014 to 2016, she spearheaded acquisition streamlining designed to reduce redundant contract designations for common services and products.

That effort, called category management, had already saved the government $2 billion, and was on track to save it $3.5 billion by the end of 2017, according to a September 2016 blog post by Rung.

Rung also developed Acquisition 360, an online portal that serves as a feedback tool that asks contractors to evaluate agency procurement processes.

Rung’s “most important specific accomplishment” was her work on category management, Steve Kelman, one of her predecessors as OFPP chief, told Bloomberg Government in a written statement.

“More generally—and as importantly—she continued a focus on centering contracting on obtaining best value for the government and not just ‘compliance,’” said Kelman, a professor of public management at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. “This is an ongoing battle, and she was on the right side of it.”

A ‘Seamless’ Transition

Rung’s former colleagues in government paint a picture of someone both driven and inspired by team projects.

When Dan Tangherlini, former administrator of the General Services Administration, reviewed candidates for the chief acquisition officer job Rung won at the agency in 2012, he said “she was head and shoulders above the rest.”

She continued to stand out at GSA and later at the procurement office, Tangherlini told Bloomberg Government. “She was just a stellar collaborator, and one of the hardest-working people you’ll ever meet,” he said.

Rung has also worked a high-level, acquisition-focused stint at the U.S. Department of Commerce. Before serving in the Obama administration she was at the Pennsylvania Department of General Services.

Rung received a bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University and obtained a master’s from the London School of Economics and Political Science, according to her LinkedIn resume.

Since November of 2016 she has been director of government for Amazon Business, her first experience in the private sector, according to LinkedIn. Rung said her background in government procurement leadership turned out to be the right preparation for the Amazon job.

“The transition has been seamless because I was always committed to trying to improve government contracting,” Rung told Bloomberg Government. “What excited me most about coming to Amazon Business is that I had an opportunity to continue that mission, and that I could do so from Amazon. It’s an incredibly inventive, energetic, creative place.”

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