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For seven years prior to her term on the Council, Branson was Chief Counsel for Oversight for the House Committee on Homeland Security. In that capacity, she developed an oversight agenda which focused heavily on contracting within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). As the newest agency with the third largest budget in the Federal government, DHS carries out much of its mandate through the use of contracts and grants. As a part of the congressional oversight function, she examined every facet of the acquisition process, including but not limited to, acquisition planning, factors used in the decision to use a Request for Proposal, the selection process, the determination of best value, the inclusion of operations and maintenance considerations, the award process, the post-award process and bid protest procedures to determine whether appropriated funds were used in a manner that promoted economy and efficiency while assuring the agency’s ability to carry out critical mission functions. As Senior Investigative Counsel for the same committee from 2005 to 2007, she conducted several major investigations into contracting and procurement problems that arose in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
Also, as part of her duties, she spearheaded all legislative and policy initiatives for committee action designed to increase the participation of small, minority and women-owned businesses in contract opportunities with the federal government, as well as initiatives to increase employment diversity. In addition, Branson wrote the statutory language contained in the Omnibus Consolidation and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act of 1999, October 1998, which eliminated the government's reliance on the Statute of Limitations defense in a discrimination lawsuit involving African American farmers (Pigford v. Glickman) and resulted in the largest settlement for plaintiffs in a discrimination class action suit involving the federal government.
Born in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, Branson attended Eastern High School and Immaculate Conception Academy, both in Washington, DC. She went on to earn a B.A. from Vassar College, a J.D. from the Indiana University School of Law, and a LL.M. from Emory University School of Law. She is a founding member and past president of the Montgomery County African-American Democratic Club. Branson is married with one son and lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Cherri Branson is the Director of the Montgomery County Office of Procurement. She was appointed to that position by Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett in June 2015. The Office of Procurement was established as a principal Office of the Executive Branch in March 2015. Branson brings to the director’s position more than 20 years of experience at the federal level, including government oversight in contracting practices and procurement.
Most recently, her service to County Government included an interim term on the Montgomery County Council, representing District 5, from January to December 2014, filling the vacancy created by the resignation of Valerie Ervin.