Burwell confirmed for OMB

Sylvia Burwell

Sylvia Burwell (photo courtesy of the Walmart Foundation)

Sylvia Burwell was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to head the Office of Management and Budget on April 24, by a vote of 96 to 0. She replaces Jeffrey Zients, who has served as acting OMB director since January 2012.

Burwell's government service includes high-profile posts in the Clinton administration, as a White House deputy chief of staff, chief of staff to Treasury secretary Robert Rubin and deputy director of OMB. More recently, Burwell has worked in private sector philanthropy for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Walmart Foundation.

President Obama praised his new OMB director in a statement, saying, " Her experience will be especially important as we continue our efforts to replace the indiscriminate budget cuts that are already starting to cost jobs, hurt families, and inconvenience Americans."

Burwell takes the reins at OMB as the administration attempts to sell its fiscal 2014 budget on Capitol Hill. The budget calls for just over $1 trillion in discretionary spending, and includes $82 billion in information technology outlays. It also calls for more than $500 billion in new tax revenues over 10 years.

While Burwell won plaudits from Republicans on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and was confirmed without opposition, this does not translate to support for the administration's economic policies as articulated in the latest budget request. A stiff fight over a new budget and a debt ceiling extension are on the horizon for Burwell, and the entire Obama economic team.

As OMB chief, Burwell will oversee the government's efforts to rein in IT costs as supervisor of the Office of E-Government & Information Technology, which includes the chief information officer.

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.

The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.


  • computer network

    How Einstein changes the way government does business

    The Department of Commerce is revising its confidentiality agreement for statistical data survey respondents to reflect the fact that the Department of Homeland Security could see some of that data if it is captured by the Einstein system.

  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Army photo by Monica King. Jan. 26, 2017.

    Mattis mulls consolidation in IT, cyber

    In a Feb. 17 memo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told senior leadership to establish teams to look for duplication across the armed services in business operations, including in IT and cybersecurity.

  • Image from Shutterstock.com

    DHS vague on rules for election aid, say states

    State election officials had more questions than answers after a Department of Homeland Security presentation on the designation of election systems as critical U.S. infrastructure.

  • Org Chart Stock Art - Shutterstock

    How the hiring freeze targets millennials

    The government desperately needs younger talent to replace an aging workforce, and experts say that a freeze on hiring doesn't help.

  • Shutterstock image: healthcare digital interface.

    VA moves ahead with homegrown scheduling IT

    The Department of Veterans Affairs will test an internally developed scheduling module at primary care sites nationwide to see if it's ready to service the entire agency.

  • Shutterstock images (honglouwawa & 0beron): Bitcoin image overlay replaced with a dollar sign on a hardware circuit.

    MGT Act poised for a comeback

    After missing in the last Congress, drafters of a bill to encourage cloud adoption are looking for a new plan.

Reader comments

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