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Sylvia Mathews Burwell back at the White House: New OMB Director

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WASHINGTON--Sylvia Mathews Burwell, who rose to deputy chief of staff under former President Bill Clinton, will be tapped Monday to be the new Director of the Office of Management and Budget, a White House official said on Sunday. Obama will make the announcement at 10:15 a.m. in the East Room.

Burwell will step down as the president of the Walmart Foundation--where she has been perched since 2012--to return to the White House. She joined Walmart after serving 10 years as president of the Global Development Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and as the Chief Operating Officer.

Burwell's appointment was expected, with Jeff Mason of Reuters reporting on Feb. 6 that President Barack Obama had chosen her for the spot as he puts together his second term team.

The previous OMB chief was Jack Lew--now the Treasury Secretary. When he left last year to be Obama's chief of staff, deputy budget director Jeffrey Zients became the acting director.

More from a White House official: "Having previously served as Deputy Director of the OMB during the Clinton administration, Burwell is an expert on budgetary and domestic policy and brings a keen understanding of the budget process to this role. Burwell served as Deputy Director of the OMB from 1998 to 2001. Burwell also served as Deputy Chief of Staff to the President and Chief of Staff to the Secretary of the Treasury during the Clinton administration.

"Burwell has a proven record as a thoughtful problem solver who builds consensus to get things done. During her tenure as Deputy Director of the OMB, she was one of the principal architects of a series of budget plans that produced a budget surplus, proving her ability to navigate the intricacies of the budget process and to work in a bipartisan way to produce results. Burwell brings rigorous analytical skills and strong relationships on both sides of the aisle to this new role.

"...Burwell's deep knowledge of budget and economic issues along with her record of fighting for working Americans make her the perfect choice to lead the OMB at this important time. Her record proves that she knows how to cut wasteful spending in a smart way while also making the investments needed to grow the economy, protect the middle class and promote prosperity for generations to come. The President is grateful that she has agreed to serve our country again in this important role."

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on March 3, 2013 6:12 PM.

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