Gene L. Dodaro's Biography

Gene L. Dodaro photograph

Gene L. Dodaro became Acting Comptroller General of the U.S. Government Accountability Office on March 13, 2008, succeeding David M. Walker, who appointed him upon resigning. Mr. Dodaro will serve in this position until the President nominates and the Senate confirms a successor from a list of candidates proposed by the Congress. 

Founded in 1921, GAO’s mission is to help improve the performance of the federal government and ensure its accountability to the Congress and, ultimately, the American people. Over the years, GAO has earned a reputation for fact-based, nonpartisan reviews of government activities.

In a GAO career dating back more than 30 years, Mr. Dodaro has held a number of key positions at GAO. For the last 9 years, Mr. Dodaro has served as the Chief Operating Officer, the number two leadership position in the agency, assisting the Comptroller General in providing leadership and vision for GAO’s diverse, multidisciplinary workforce. His day-to-day management efforts ensured that GAO met the Congress’s need for reliable, timely, and relevant information on government operations. Mr. Dodaro oversaw the development and issuance of hundreds of reports and testimonies to the Congress annually. These and other GAO products provided critical information for decision making, saved the taxpayers billions of dollars, and improved a wide range of government programs and services.

As Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Dodaro led the development of GAO’s strategic plans for serving the Congress and improving government in the 21st century. He also directed GAO’s high-risk program, which focuses attention on and proposes solutions to major management challenges and risks across the federal government. Mr. Dodaro likewise also played a key role in guiding the agency’s efforts to highlight current and emerging issues that warrant attention from policymakers. 

Until 1999, Mr. Dodaro headed GAO’s Accounting and Information Management Division. His significant accomplishments included providing leadership to help government confront the Year 2000 computing challenge by working with the Congress and the President’s Y2K Conversion Council to provide a smooth transition in government operations and services. He also directed the first-ever audit of comprehensive financial statements covering all federal departments and agencies for fiscal year 1997—one of the largest and most complex audits in history. Additionally, he helped conceive GAO’s strategy for improving computer security throughout government and led the updating of standards for internal control in the federal government.

Mr. Dodaro has testified many times before the Congress. He has worked closely with the Congress and various administrations on major management reform initiatives, including the 1994 Government Management Reform Act, which expanded the Chief Financial Officers Act; the revised 1995 Paperwork Reduction Act and the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996, which require agencies to implement modern management practices for information technology management; and the 1996 refinements to the Single Audit Act, which outlines requirements for audits of federal assistance to state and local governments.

Mr. Dodaro also led management reviews of the Department of Justice, the Internal Revenue Service, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Office of Personnel Management and has extensive experience working with state and local government officials.

Mr. Dodaro received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Lycoming College in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. He is a National Academy of Public Administration Fellow and a member of the Association of Government Accountants. Mr. Dodaro has received many of GAO’s top honors as well as recognition from outside organizations, including the American Society for Public Administration, the Institute of Internal Auditors, and Federal Computer Week. These include:

    • The 2006 Association of Government Accountants’ Elmer B. Staats Award for improving government performance and government accountability.
    • The 2003 American Society for Public Administration and the National Academy of Public Administration National Public Service Award recognizing outstanding practitioners in public service.
    • The 2001 Association of Government Accountants’ Frank Greathouse Distinguished Leadership Award for sustained outstanding leadership in financial management.
    • The 2000 Institute of Internal Auditor’s (D.C. Chapter) Person of the Year for leadership in addressing the Year 2000 computing challenge.
    • The 1999 Federal Computer Week Information Technology Top 100 Award.
    • The 1989 Arthur S. Flemming Award for outstanding individual performance in government.

Mr. Dodaro is married to the former Joan McCabe and has three adult children.