Move Over R2, CPO is Here

Lately, OMB has been consumed with the "B" in our title – the budget – but an equally important part of our mission is the "M" or management of the federal government.  If tax dollars are not spent wisely or efficiently, it can undermine the goals that specific programs are trying to accomplish.  On top of that, mismanagement and waste as well as a lack of transparency for citizens into government operations erodes trust in government, making it even harder for us as a society to tackle the serious challenges we face.

I’m happy to report that this morning the President announced his intention to nominate a new Deputy Director of Management and Chief Performance Officer, Jeffrey Zients.  Jeff has 20 years of business experience as a CEO, management consultant, and entrepreneur with a deep understanding of business strategy, process reengineering, and financial management.  After a short stint in management consulting, Jeff served as CEO and Chairman of The Advisory Board Company and Chairman of the Corporate Executive Board.  These two firms are leading providers of performance benchmarking and best practices across a wide range of industries. They assist senior executives at over 5,000 businesses to improve the efficiency of their operations.  During his tenure, the companies grew from 120 employees to over 1,200 and revenues and profits increased by more than tenfold.

Currently, Jeff is the Founder and Managing Partner of Portfolio Logic, an investment firm focusing primarily in business and healthcare services companies, and an active member of several corporate boards in diverse industries including consumer products, communications and healthcare.  Jeff is a graduate of Duke University (which will make staff meetings really interesting this winter as our Deputy Director, Rob Nabors, is a proud UNC alumnus!), and lives in Washington with his wife and kids.

The President decided to make the Deputy Director for Management the government’s first Chief Performance Officer because the goal is not just good management or solid operations, but generating good results for the American people.  Through this performance lens, government operations become a way to drive better results, not an end in and of itself.  Specifically, Jeff will lead the President’s efforts on contracting and procurement reform, improve government productivity by helping to root out error and waste, build a performance agenda across government, and enhance the transparency of the government’s finances so that citizens are empowered to hold us all accountable for improved stewardship and performance.  He will work closely with the also just-announced Chief Technology Officer, Aneesh Chopra, and the Federal Chief Information Officer, Vivek Kundra.

I know I speak for everyone at OMB when I say that we are excited to work with Jeff to help make government agencies more efficient, effective, transparent, and accountable. 

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