Robert A. Peck, FAIA, is coming back to the General Services Administration as the commissioner of the agency's Public Buildings Service, the GSA announced today.

Peck served as PBS commissioner from 1995 to 2001, during the Clinton administration. He calls the public-buildings position "the best job in real estate.”

It is certainly one of the biggest real-estate jobs in the country. PBS oversees design, construction, leasing, management, and security for the 354 million square feet of space that the federal government owns or leases.

Peck, who expects to begin work at the GSA during the week of August 17, told Engineering News-Record that his top priority will be "to carry out the Recovery Act projects that GSA has, as fast as possible—in order to create jobs—and also in as effective a way as possible." He says that means "turning the money into energy-conservation outcomes in public buildings" and leaving "a long-term legacy" for the country.

GSA has $5.55 billion to spend on public buildings under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), much of it for energy-efficiency upgrades, both large and small. Through the end of July, the agency had awarded ARRA contracts totaling almost $1.1 billion, with a majority of those dollars awarded within the last three weeks of that month.

Peck returns to GSA from Jones Lang LaSalle, where he has been a managing director in the real estate firm’s Washington, D.C. office. Previously, he was with The Staubach Co., which was acquired by Jones Lang LaSalle last year.

After leaving GSA in 2001, he became president of the Greater Washington [D.C.] Board of Trade. He has been a private attorney, specializing in real estate and land use, and also was the American Institute of Architects' vice president for public affairs.

In addition to his earlier stint at GSA, Peck's long government career includes serving as chief of staff to the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.) and working at the Office of Management and Budget, National Endowment for the Arts, and Federal Communications Commission.