Leadership

Zients to head Obama's economic team

Jeffrey Zients

Jeffrey Zients joined the Obama administration in 2009 as deputy director for management and chief performance officer at OMB.

Jeffrey Zients, a former acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, is rejoining President Barack Obama’s economic team as director of the National Economic Council. He will replace Gene Sperling, who has been in the post since 2011 and plans to leave at the end of this year.

Zients jointed the administration in 2009 as deputy director for management and chief performance officer at OMB. He is best known in the federal IT community for his plan to reform the way government acquires and uses technology, launched in conjunction with then-CIO Vivek Kundra. Among other things, the plan instituted the federal "cloud first" policy and launched TechStat, the precursor to the PortfolioStat reviews that grade the performance of federal agency and component CIOs.

As head of the National Economic Council, Zients will be charged with coordinating economic advice from various sources to the president, and tracking the implementation of economic policy. The post does not require confirmation by the Senate.

"Jeff has a sterling reputation as a business leader, and he earned the admiration and respect of everyone he worked with during his four years in leadership positions at the Office of Management and Budget," Obama said in a statement.

Before joining the administration, Zients was CEO and chairman of the Advisory Board Company and chairman of the Corporate Executive Board, two business consulting firms founded by entrepreneur David Bradley. He also served stints at consultancies Mercer and Bain.

Zients left the administration when current OMB Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell was confirmed in April of this year. Since then, he was worked as managing director of Portfolio Logic Management, a Washington, D.C., health care investment firm he founded.

About the Author

Adam Mazmanian is executive editor of FCW.

Before joining the editing team, Mazmanian was an FCW staff writer covering Congress, government-wide technology policy, health IT and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to joining FCW, Mr. Mazmanian was technology correspondent for National Journal and served in a variety of editorial at B2B news service SmartBrief. Mazmanian started his career as an arts reporter and critic, and has contributed reviews and articles to the Washington Post, the Washington City Paper, Newsday, Architect magazine, and other publications. He was an editorial assistant and staff writer at the now-defunct New York Press and arts editor at the About.com online network in the 1990s, and was a weekly contributor of music and film reviews to the Washington Times from 2007 to 2014.

Click here for previous articles by Mazmanian. Connect with him on Twitter at @thisismaz.


FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.

Featured

  • Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

    Exit interview with Anne Rung

    The government's departing top acquisition official said she leaves behind a solid foundation on which to build more effective and efficient federal IT.

  • Charles Phalen

    Administration appoints first head of NBIB

    The National Background Investigations Bureau announced the appointment of its first director as the agency prepares to take over processing government background checks.

  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

    Senator: Rigid hiring process pushes millennials from federal work

    Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said agencies are missing out on younger workers because of the government's rigidity, particularly its protracted hiring process.

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1987, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

  • Shutterstock image.

    A 'minibus' appropriations package could be in the cards

    A short-term funding bill is expected by Sept. 30 to keep the federal government operating through early December, but after that the options get more complicated.

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco

    DOD launches new tech hub in Austin

    The DOD is opening a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental office in Austin, Texas, while Congress debates legislation that could defund DIUx.

Reader comments

Sat, Sep 14, 2013

Given the track record of the 25 Point Plan to Reform Federal IT and the way it was implemented (forced) one can only guess that the future initiatives of the National Economic Council will posed and ignore due to shortsightedness and impracticality. Kundra, and by implication Zients, did not have the best reputation with his "pie-in-the-sky" claims related to Cloud that have yet to be realized or embraced (for good reason).

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group