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Former Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Human Resources/Administration
Staff Profile
Former Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Human Resources/Administration

Mari Barr Santangelo

Mari Barr Santangelo was appointed Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Human Resources and Administration and Chief Human Capital Officer at the Department of Justice (DOJ) in May 2005. She oversees Human Resources, Security and Emergency Planning, the Justice Library, the Equal Employment Opportunity Staff, and Facilities and Administrative Services Staff. In addition, she supervises the Departmental Executive Secretariat, and the Consolidated Executive Office, which provides administrative support to the Justice leadership and select JMD offices.

Ms. Santangelo has been a Federal employee since 1993, and has been recognized for her service by the President with the Meritorious Service Award in 2009, and 2004.  Her most recent appointments were as follows:  In 2004, Ms. Santangelo served as the Director, Human Capital Policy and Programs, in the newly established Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  In this capacity, she was responsible for developing new human resources polices and merging 22 human resource (HR) systems into common systems for the new Department.  Beginning 2000, Ms. Santangelo served in progressively challenging positions at the Department of Transportation - she was the Acting Assistant Secretary for Administration from March 2003 to February 2004.  In addition, as Principal Deputy, she was directly accountable for the Department’s human capital and competitive sourcing plans, two of the five President’s Management Agenda initiatives; and she had purview over the offices of Human Resources, Security, Procurement, and grant management.  Concurrently, she was the Director of Human Resources, and was among the first to achieve “green” in Human Capital.

Ms. Santangelo’s previous experience includes two White House appointments:  In 1997, as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Human Resources at the U. S. Department of the Interior; and 1993 as Senior Advisor to the Secretary at the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  At Interior, Ms. Santangelo’s achievements included a successfully implemented human resource information system for 8 bureaus and 70,000 employees.  Also at Interior, she formalized the Department’s relationship with Hispanic Serving Institutions, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Tribal Colleges that increased recruitment and retention of the workforce.  At HUD, Ms. Santangelo’s greatest achievement was her leadership as the Secretary’s point person in HUD’s response to the April 1995 Oklahoma disaster.  She also served HUD on labor/management partnerships, and as the Departmental Director of EEO, she trained over 200 new counselors, and implemented an award-winning diversity program.

Prior to her Federal career, Ms. Santangelo worked at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay for 19 years, as a professional Counselor for 10 years, Director of EEO, and as the Executive Assistant to the Chancellor.  She authored the first campus diversity plan in which goals were set to increase by 50 percent the enrollment of minority students, and to double the employment of minority groups in a 5-year plan cycle – by year four, all goals were met and exceeded.

Ms. Santangelo was elected to two consecutive terms as Vice President and member of the Executive Board for the American Association for Affirmative Action.  This primarily African American national organization twice honored Ms. Santangelo for her national contributions with the President’s Leadership Award in 1980 for the charter newsletter, and 1992 for her initiative in writing and developing the initial course on AA/EEO Plan Development.  Ms. Santangelo earned her Bachelor of Science in Sociology and Psychology, and her Masters of Science in Counseling, from the University of Wisconsin system.  She is married to Richard Diego Santangelo and they are the proud parents of twin daughters, Molly and Emily, and grandson, Mason.

Updated November 23, 2020