Acting Director of the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations: Who Is Adam Namm
On May 1, 2009, Adam E. Namm took over as acting director of the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO), a State Department agency responsible for the buildings that house America’s overseas embassies, consulates and missions, including more than 3,500 owned buildings around the globe. Although the agency made its early reputation during the 1950s as a leader in aesthetic architectural design, building safety has since become its primary mission. Since the 1998 bombings of American embassies in east Africa, the federal government has conducted the largest construction effort in US diplomatic history to upgrade diplomatic posts and secure them against terrorist attacks. Problems have arisen, however, in the course of several high-profile embassy projects, including the sprawling new complex in Baghdad, Iraq. Namm has his work cut out for him, as all that construction is now yielding higher building maintenance costs. In fact, OBO is requesting a tenfold increase in its annual building maintenance budget, from $150 million to $1.5 billion, although Namm admits the agency is unlikely to get entire amount.
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