President Obama has tapped Jeffrey D. Zients to serve as acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, the White House announced Tuesday.
This will be Zients’s second turn as acting director of the agency responsible for crafting the White House budget plan and government management concerns. He takes over for Jacob J. Lew, who is replacing departing White House Chief of Staff William M. Daley.
Although Zients has no federal budget-writing experience, he drafted the plans to reorganize federal agencies that were announced Friday, prepared contingency plans in anticipation of last year’s threatened government shutdowns, has unveiled plans to cut federal spending by reducing the government’s real estate portfolio and by accelerating the federal hiring process. As one of the few senior administration officials with corporate experience, Zients also has served as an occasional White House envoy to the business community.
The appointment does not require Senate confirmation. White House aides have said it is likely that Zients will serve in an acting capacity through the remainder of Obama’s first term.