Government Experience

  • Government Accountability Office—Office of General Counsel, 2004-2016
  • Government Accountability Office—Acting Assistant General Counsel, Procurement Law, 2016
  • Government Accountability Office—Deputy Assistant General Counsel, Procurement Law, 2015-2016
  • Government Accountability Office—Judge, GAO Contract Appeals Board, 2013-2016
  • Government Accountability Office—Senior Attorney, Procurement Law, 2008-2015
  • Government Accountability Office—Staff Attorney, Legal Services Division, 2004-2008

Education

  • Edinboro University, B.A. (2001) summa cum laude
  • Pennsylvania State University, J.D. (2004) summa cum laude, Woolsack Honor Society, Editor-in-Chief of the Penn State International Law Review

Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Pennsylvania
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims

Cherie J. Owen

Senior Counsel
cowen@crowell.com
+1.202.624.2629

Cherie Owen is a senior counsel in the Government Contracts group. Cherie counsels and represents clients in a wide array of government contracts issues, with a focus on bid protests at the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the United States Court of Federal Claims. As a former GAO bid protest hearing officer, she resolved some of the most challenging bid protests on procurements ranging from thousands to billions of dollars involving solicitation challenges, proposal evaluation challenges, organizational conflicts of interest, Procurement Integrity Act violations, affirmative responsibility determinations, the conduct of discussions, and competitive range determinations. In this role, Cherie held numerous bid protest hearings. At GAO she handled more than 600 protests and issued more than 500 decisions.

After serving for several years as a GAO bid protest hearing officer, Cherie was promoted to the position of Deputy Assistant Counsel for Procurement Law and eventually Acting Assistant General Counsel for Procurement Law. In this role, she supervised a team of GAO bid protest hearing officers. Cherie also served as a judge on the GAO Contract Appeals Board, where she resolved appeals of contracting officers’ final decisions regarding contract claims for legislative branch agencies.

Cherie is a thought leader on topics relating to bid protests and agencies’ use of their Other Transaction Authority (OTA) and holds several leadership roles in the ABA Public Contract Law Section and maintains an active pro bono practice.



Affiliations

Admissions

Admitted to practice: District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, and U.S. Court of Federal Claims

Professional Activities and Memberships

  • Law360 Government Contracts Editorial Advisory Board (2017, 2019)
  • Co-Chair, ABA PCLS Bid Protest Committee (2016-2019) & Diversity Committee (2015-2018)
  • Board of Governors, Board of Contract Appeals Bar Association (2015-2018)


Representative Matters

Court of Federal Claims Bid Protests

  • LightBox Parent, L.P. v. United States, No. 22-429 (Aug. 26, 2022) –  Successful defense of protest challenging award to a client of a $45M Federal Communications Commission contract for broadband mapping services.
  • ARxIUM, Inc. v. United States, No. 17-1407C (Feb. 16, 2018) – Successful protest of the Defense Logistics Agency’s corrective action following a GAO decision sustaining a challenge to ARxIUM’s award of a contract to provide robotic pharmaceutical automation systems at four large-volume Air Force prescription refill centers.
  • Spectrum Healthcare Resources, Inc., No. 22-CV-01368 (Sept. 28, 2022) – Successful protest of DHS’s competitive range decision in $2.62 billion procurement for on-site medical staffing services for detainees at ICE Health Service Corps clinic sites, which resulted in Agency corrective action.
  • NXP USA, Inc. v. United States, No. 19-CV-00781 – Successful protest of GPO’s actions in connection with a procurement of next generation Passport eCovers, which resulted in Agency corrective action.

GAO Bid Protests

  • AT&T Mobility LLC, B-420494 (May 10, 2022) – Successful protest of Department of Homeland Security, United States Secret Service award of $18 million contract for cellular communications services and equipment
  • NOVA Dine, LLC, B-420454; B-420454.2 (Apr. 15, 2022) – Successful defense of protest challenging DISA’s award of $240 million contract for the Technologies Refreshment and Implementation-Global Solution Management (TRI-GSM) program.
  • Fisher Sand & Gravel Co., B-419238 (Jan. 7, 2021) – Successful defense of protest challenging the Army Corps of Engineers’ award of a task order for construction.
  • Knowlogy Corp., B-416208.3 (Dec. 20, 2018) – Successful defense of protest challenging GSA’s award of a $45 million contract for information technology training and certification services.
  • Successfully protested GSA’s award of a $ 678 million contract for systems engineering and integration services based on organizational conflicts of interest; obtained agency corrective action including acceptance of revised proposals and issuance of a new award decision.
  • Successfully defended a multi-million dollar award by the Air Force for aircraft and equipment resulting in dismissal of most protest grounds and withdrawal of the remainder. 
  • Successfully protested the terms of a solicitation issued by the Navy for base operations support services on the grounds that the solicitation did not contain sufficient information for offerors to compete intelligently and on an equal basis; obtained agency corrective action in the form of solicitation amendments.
  • Successfully protested the Army’s award of a $27 million contract for facilities investment services based on arguments regarding lack of meaningful discussions and unreasonable evaluation; obtained agency corrective action.
  • Successfully protested NASA’s award of a $ 275 million contract for software engineering services and obtained agency corrective action. 
  • Successfully protested the Army’s award of $41 million services contract to support management of a portfolio of warfighting capabilities and obtained corrective action that ultimately resulted in award to the client.
  • Successfully protested the Federal Highway Administration’s elimination of an offeror from the competition for data set and data sharing support on the basis of lack of meaningful discussion and an unreasonable evaluation; obtained agency corrective action that allowed the client to reenter the competition.
  • Successfully protested the Army’s award of a $49 million small business set aside contract for test technology support services on the basis of a flawed evaluation of professional employee compensation under FAR 52.222-46 and other evaluation errors; obtained agency corrective action that included amending the solicitation, soliciting revised proposals, and making a new award decision.
  • Successfully protested the VA’s award of a contract for prescription eyeglasses and associated optical services on the basis of unbalanced pricing, failure to solicit in accordance with the agency’s actual needs, and failure to evaluate proposals on a common baseline; obtained agency corrective action to include revising the solicitation, accepting revised proposals, and making a new award decision.
  • Successfully protested the TSA’s award of a $340 million contract for human resources support services on the basis of organizational conflicts of interest and evaluation flaws; obtained agency corrective action. 

Other Representative Matters

  • Advised multi-national energy company regarding its receipt and negotiation of a DOE $16 million cooperative agreement to develop a first in kind engineering-scale demonstration of carbon capture technology for natural gas and other hydrocarbons. 
  • Advised non-profit recipient of multi-million-dollar CDC grants related to the COVID-19 pandemic regarding negotiations and obligations regarding subrecipients and subcontractors.
  • Advised aircraft engineering company regarding contract negotiations and disputes with the U.S. Air Force.


Speeches & Presentations

  • “Source Selection and Bid Protests: Pre- and Post-Award Considerations,” GC 101: Back to Basics, Washington, D.C. (September 21, 2022). Presenters: Rob Sneckenberg, Anuj Vohra, and Cherie Owen.
  • "Bid Protests: Protecting Your Rights," Crowell & Moring's Ounce of Prevention Seminar (OOPS) 2022, Washington, D.C. (May 16, 2022). Speakers: Daniel Forman, Anuj Vohra, Cherie Owen, and James Peyster.
  • "Bid Protests: Protecting Your Rights," Back Together Again for OOPS 2022, Washington, D.C. (May 16, 2022). Speakers: Daniel Forman, Anuj Vohra, Cherie Owen, and James Peyster.
  • "Grants and Infrastructure Webinar," Crowell & Moring Webinar. (March 1, 2022). Speakers: Lorraine M. Campos, Cherie J. Owen, and Erin Rankin.
  • "Bid Protest Issues to Watch in 2022," Crowell & Moring, 2022. (January 27, 2022). Speakers: Anuj Vohra, Cherie J. Owen, Issac D. Schabes, Karla V. Perez Chacon
  • "Pub K Annual Review 2022: Bid Protests," Pub K Annual Review 2022 Webinar. (January 24, 2022). Speakers: Cherie J. Owen.
  • "OTAs and Intellectual Property: Hot Topics and New Developments," NCMA World Congress (July 2019). Speaker: Cherie J. Owen.
  • "Ten Things You Need to Know About Other Transaction Agreements (OTAs)," National Contract Management Association Webinar (May 2019). Speaker: Cherie J. Owen.
  • "Cost Analysis in Government Contracts," Public Contracting Institute (April 2019). Speaker: Cherie J. Owen.
  • "Oral Advocacy in Bid Protests: A Discussion of Oral Arguments at COFC and Hearings at GAO," American Bar Association, Section of Public Contract Law, Bid Protest Committee (April 2018). Speaker: Cherie J. Owen.
  • "Hot Topics and Trends in Bid Protest Practice and Procedure," American Bar Association Live Webinar (January 2018). Speaker: Cherie J. Owen.
  • "Introduction to Bid Protests", American Bar Association Live Webinar (November 2017). Speaker: Cherie J. Owen.
  • "Back to School: Protest Musings and Updates From Your Co-Chairs," American Bar Association, Section of Public Contract Law, Bid Protest Committee (September 2017). Speaker: Cherie J. Owen.
  • "Bid Protests and Solicitation Ambiguities," Federal Circuit Bar Association’s Government Contracting Summit (April 2017). Speaker: Cherie J. Owen.
  • "Proposal Evaluations: Cost Realism Evaluations," Public Contracting Institute Live Webinar (April 2017). Speaker: Cherie J. Owen.
  • "The Most Important Bid Protest Decisions of 2016," American Bar Association Live Webinar (April 2017). Speaker: Cherie J. Owen.
  • "GAO Bid Protests: Insights from an Insider," National Contract Management Association 35th Annual Government Contract Management Symposium, Washington, DC (December 2016). Speaker: Cherie J. Owen.


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