OGE is led by a director who is appointed by the President to a 5 year term. OGE’s Director is assisted by a team of three career government executives.
Shelley K. Finlayson
Acting Director, Chief of Staff and Program Counsel, U.S. Office of Government Ethics
OGE’s mission is to provide overall leadership and oversight of the executive branch ethics program designed to prevent and resolve conflicts of interest. As Chief of Staff Ms. Finlayson directs OGE’s overall operations. As Program Counsel her responsibilities include: strategic planning, monitoring ethics program performance, supporting agency ethics offices through OGE’s Desk Officer program, overseeing the training of thousands of ethics officials, ensuring OGE’s legal compliance, developing and implementing OGE’s external communication strategy, managing OGE’s congressional affairs, and spearheading strategic initiatives, including the development of an executive branch-wide electronic filing system for public financial disclosures. She also serves as the First Assistant.
Before coming to OGE in 2006, Ms. Finlayson developed expertise through positions with local, state, and federal governments, and in private legal practice. Her experience includes serving at the Congressional Budget Office, the Maryland General Assembly, the government of the District of Columbia, and the DLA Piper law firm.
Ms. Finlayson earned a Juris Doctor degree from Georgetown University Law Center, a Masters degree in Public Policy from Rutgers University, and a Bachelors degree in Political Science from the University of California, Riverside.
David J. Apol
General Counsel, U.S. Office of Government Ethics
As General Counsel at the Office of Government Ethics, Mr. Apol is responsible for interpreting ethics laws and regulations, providing guidance on ethics laws and regulation, and recommending changes to ethics policy for the Executive Branch of the United States Government.
Prior to his position as General Counsel at the U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE), Mr. Apol served as the Chief Counsel for Administrative Law at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, leading the administrative law program of a cabinet-level agency. Before that, he served as an Associate General Counsel at OGE, where his accomplishments included both working on ethics law reform in the United States and advising a foreign government on establishing its own ethics laws at a critical time of political change. Prior to coming to OGE, Mr. Apol served as Associate Counsel to the President, advising the President, the First Lady, and senior White House officials on ethics issues and the Presidential nominee financial disclosure program. In that capacity, he had the opportunity to work personally with ethics officials from almost every executive branch agency.
Mr. Apol was the Counsel for the Department of Labor’s Ethics Program from 1992 to 2000, where he was charged with establishing and then managing a new Department-wide ethics program. He served as a Counsel for the Senate Ethics Committee from 1987 to 1992 where he advised Senators and Senate Staff and was involved in several high profile investigations.
Prior to coming to Washington, Mr. Apol served as a Judge Advocate General Officer in the U.S. Army where he was responsible for ethics, administrative law, international law, and contract law for the Army’s Strategic Missile Defense Command.
He is a graduate of Wheaton College and the University of Michigan Law School.
Dale "Chip" Christopher
Deputy Director for Compliance, U.S. Office of Government Ethics
Mr. Christopher was selected as the Deputy Director for Compliance in February 2015.
He first joined OGE in 1991 as a Management Analyst in the Program Review Division, the predecessor to the Compliance Division. He served for 15 years in the Program Review Division before being promoted to head the division in 2006. He then served as the Associate Director of the Program Services Division for two years before transitioning to OGE’s Office of General Counsel, where he was a Lead Financial Analyst. Most recently, Mr. Christopher served as the Chief of OGE’s Agency Assistance Branch, where he and his staff provided valuable guidance and support to the executive branch ethics community.
He earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from West Virginia University.