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Logo of GPL Procurement Excellence Network

An initiative of the Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab



  • Michelle Hernandez Lane

    Metropolitan Government of Nashville & Davidson County
    Purchasing Agent and Chief Procurement Officer
  • Michael Owh

    Los Angeles County
    Chief Deputy Director
  • Michelle Wilson

    City of Long Beach
    Purchasing Agent

Moving Procurement from Administration to Activation: Unlocking Procurement's Potential as a Strategic Tool

Peer Roundtable


| 1:00 pm

- 2:00 pm


In many governments, procurement is undervalued or misunderstood by leadership, leading to purchasing offices that are overworked, under-resourced, and underutilized. In a government where procurement is elevated, valued, and properly resourced, leadership views the purchasing office as a core strategic function, rather than as a transactional, compliance, or administrative office - and that's what enables governments to leverage procurement to achieve policy and strategic goals.

In this roundtable, we heard from Chief Procurement Officers and other government leaders about how they elevated their procurement function to be more strategic and innovative. We also learned about how to communicate the importance of what you do within your government so that senior leaders and customer departments take note. This event was not be recorded given the potentially sensitive nature of the subject.