Obama announces new budget director

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted July 19, 2010

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President Obama on July 13 named Jacob J. Lew as director of the White House Office of Management and Budget. Lew has been deputy secretary of state since January 2009, but he also served in President Clinton's cabinet as OMB director from 1998 to 2001.

"The experience and good judgment Jack has acquired throughout his impressive career in the public and private sector will be an extraordinary asset to this administration's efforts to cut down the deficit and put our nation back on a fiscally responsible path," Obama said. The position requires Senate confirmation.

Lew, who left the job in 2001 when the nation had budget surpluses, now faces historic budget deficits. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that federal debt will equal 62% of the country's economic output this year -- the largest percentage since just after World War II.

Lew replaces Peter Orszag, PhD, who announced his departure in late June. "After nearly four years in public service -- first as head of the Congressional Budget Office and then as director of OMB -- and since I will be getting married this fall, it was simply time for me to move on," Orszag wrote in a June 25 OMB blog entry. Orszag championed the federal stimulus act and health reform laws in the face of strong Republican criticism.

From 2001 to 2006, Lew was executive vice president and chief operating officer of New York University. He left to take a leadership position for Citi Global Wealth Management and then Citi Alternative Investments.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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