White House: Zients Will Lead Federal Reorganization

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Federal Chief Performance Officer Jeffrey Zients, Photo: CIO.gov

In a blog posting Sunday, White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer announced federal Chief Performance Officer Jeffrey Zients will lead the administration’s efforts on reorganizing the federal government — a pledge made by President Barack Obama in his State of the Union address last week.

“The fact is that we live and do business in the information age, but the last major reorganization of the government happened in the middle of the last century,” Pfeiffer wrote on the White House Blog, in an echo of Obama’s remarks last week. “Too often, it seems that the federal government is stuck in the age of black-and-white television while we are competing in the age of the iPad.”

Pfeiffer praised Zients for his leadership of the Accountable Government Initiative, which, recently, has worked to reduce improper payments, saving the government money.

Pfeiffer also singled out Zients, a deputy director for the Office of Management and Budget who served as that agency’s interim director when Peter Orszag left last July, for his private-sector experiences.

“Having been a CEO, management consultant and entrepreneur, Jeff has a deep understanding of business strategy, process re-engineering and operational management,” Pfeiffer wrote in the post.

Zients will be joined by Lisa Brown, a presidential assistant and staff secretary in the reorg efforts.

The first order of business will be reforming trade and exports to “give American companies a leg up in the global economy,” Pfeiffer said.

“The president believes that we need to reform our government to make it better organized and better equipped to support American competitiveness,” he added. “We want to ensure that we’re aligning all of the resources we have into negotiating the best agreements, enforcing our trade rights, supporting our exporters and promoting their products.”

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