Todd J. Zinser was sworn in as the fifth Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Commerce on December 26, 2007.
As Inspector General, Mr. Zinser leads a team of auditors, evaluators, investigators, attorneys, and support staff responsible for improving the Department's vast array of business, scientific, economic, and environmental programs and operations.
For FY 2013, Mr. Zinser has identified five top management challenges facing the Department: 1) stimulate economic growth in key industries, increase exports, and enhance stewardship of marine fisheries; 2) increase oversight of resources entrusted by the public and invest for long-term benefits; 3) strengthen security and investments in information technology; 4) implement framework for acquisition project management and improve contracts oversight; and 5) reduce risk of cost overruns, schedule delays, and coverage gaps for NOAA’s satellite programs.
Mr. Zinser's appointment as Inspector General follows 24 years as a career civil servant, beginning as an investigator for the U.S. Department of Labor in 1983. He joined the Department of Transportation in 1991, first serving as special agent in charge of OIG's New York regional office of investigations. Mr. Zinser held several other leadership positions until being named deputy inspector general in 2001, a role he held until his appointment as the Commerce Inspector General.
Mr. Zinser has received numerous awards for leadership and superior performance throughout his career. He received the Secretary of Transportation's 9-11 Medal and two Gold Medals for his work on Hurricane Katrina (2006) and the collapse of the I-35 Minnesota Bridge (2007). Also in 2007, he was awarded the Transportation IG's Bronze Medal for superior achievement as Deputy Inspector General.
Mr. Zinser earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Northern Kentucky University and a master's degree in political science from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. He has also completed the Senior Managers in Government program at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government.