Fired GSA manager lands job with architecture firm

Four months after a scandal over meeting expenditures prompted his firing at the General Services Administration, Robert A. Peck has landed a top consultant job for the architecture firm Gensler.

Peck was in his second stint heading the GSA’s Public Buildings Service, which oversees federal real estate, when he was forced out in April following revelations of a four-day 2010 conference costing more than $800,000 that one of his managers held in Las Vegas.

GSA Administrator Martha N. Johnson resigned, and Peck, who attended the conference, was fired.

San Francisco-based Gensler has 43 offices and more than 3,000 employees worldwide. Peck is joining the firm as director of consulting for the southeast region, stretching from Pennsylvania to Florida, and will become one of four global managers of the firm’s growing consulting practice.

Peck, whose efforts in public service focused on finding ways to use the government’s real estate more efficiently, will head a team of about 10 employees in Washington. Diane Hoskins, Gensler chief executive, said she would like to expand the office by more than double as clients reassess how to design office space.


Former GSA Public Buildings Service Commissioner Robert Peck testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington on April 17. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

“We’ve been looking to land the right person for this job for about two years and we’ve been trying to find someone with experience that marries real estate expertise with an understanding of how the workplace defines an organization,” Hoskins said.

Peck’s relatively brief stay in unemployment reflects the support he has in Washington’s real estate and architecture circles, where his resume includes stints working for Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the late senator from New York; the American Institute of Architects; the Greater Washington Board of Trade; and a real estate services firm.

Peck said he received more hiring inquiries than he had expected. “When I talked to people, they told me ‘Bob, we know what you can do and we know what happened at the GSA,’ ’’ he said. “They know the politics. People get politics.”

After he was fired, many of Peck’s business associates came to his defense, and Hoskins and Kenneth P. Baker, co-regional managing principal at Gensler, said they had no concern about Peck’s ability to attract business. Rather, Hoskins said she had worried that someone else might grab him.

“We knew that there were a lot of people probably trying to hire him,” she said.

Jonathan O'Connell has covered land use and development in the Washington area for more than five years.
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