Breaking News: Obama names first CPO

Nancy Killefer, whom President-elect Barack Obama named to be the government’s first chief performance officer today, brings significant public and private management and operational experience to the position, Obama said in announcing her appointment.

Killefer’s responsibility will be to bring more accountability and transparency to federal agencies and their programs and help reform the federal budget.

Obama also announced that he intends to nominate Killefer to be deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget.

Now a senior director at McKinsey and Co., Killefer previously served as the Treasury Department's assistant secretary for management, its chief financial officer and chief operating officer during the Clinton administration.

Obama described Killefer as “an expert in streamlining processes and wringing out inefficiencies so that taxpayers and consumers get more for their money.”

Killefer said she plans to work across bureaucratic boundaries and will look to federal employees to play a significant role in making the government more efficient and effective.

“Most of the operational issues facing the government have taken place over years,” Killefer said. “There is an urgency to begin now.”

”The CPO is one of the most important appointments I will make,” Obama said. He repeated his campaign promise that he would scour the federal budget, “eliminating what we don’t need, or what doesn’t work, and improving the things that do.”

Meanwhile, the Congressional Budget Office announced today that the deficit Obama’s administration will inherit will reach $1.2 trillion this fiscal year, and his recovery plan will add to that deficit.

“Unless we take decisive action, even after our economy pulls out of its slide, trillion-dollar deficits will be a reality for years to come,” Obama said.

He said that he would instruct members of his Cabinet and key staffers to meet with Killefer soon after he takes office and on a regular basis thereafter to discuss how to run their agencies with greater efficiency, transparency and accountability.

At McKinsey, Killefer managed the company's public-sector practice and developed strategies to improve organizational effectiveness.

While serving at Treasury from 1997 to 2000, Killefer led a major modernization at the Internal Revenue Service, Obama said. According to her biography, she prepared Treasury's computer systems for the Year 2000 date change and revamped management processes, including installing an asset management program departmentwide.

After returning to McKinsey in 2000, she joined the IRS Oversight Board, a public/private panel that advises and oversees the IRS. She was a member of the board from 2000 to 2005 and the board’s chairwoman from 2002 to 2004.

Killefer received her master’s in business administration from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management and her bachelor’s degree from Vassar College.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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