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.

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