Bloomberg News

Obama Names OMB Deputy Zients as Acting Chief to Replace Lew

January 24, 2012

(Updates with White House announcement beginning in first paragraph.)

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Jeffrey Zients, a deputy at the Office of Management and Budget, will serve as acting budget director to replace Jack Lew, who is set to become President Barack Obama’s chief of staff at the end of the month.

Zients, 45, who has led administration efforts to reorganize the federal government, including a plan last week to consolidate six federal agencies into one, will assume day-to- day management of the fiscal 2013 budget that’s set to be delivered to Congress the first week of February.

“I’m pleased to designate Jeff Zients to lead the Office of Management and Budget,” Obama said today in a statement. “Since day one, Jeff has demonstrated superb judgment and has provided sound advice on a whole host of issues.”

Top OMB positions are subject to Senate confirmation and Zients was confirmed to his current job in 2009. By naming Zients acting director, Obama for now avoids a potential election-year showdown with the Senate over a nomination.

Zients served as acting chief once before, when former budget chief Peter Orzag departed and before Lew was confirmed.

Along with his title as deputy budget director, Zients was the government’s first performance officer. Zients has 20 years of business experience as a chief executive, management consultant and entrepreneur, the White House said.

--Editors: Joe Sobczyk, Justin Blum

To contact the reporter on this story: Roger Runningen in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Komarow at

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