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Budget Office’s Zients to Lead U.S. Federal Government Overhaul

Jeffrey Zients, deputy director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget for the past two years, will lead the Obama administration’s effort to reorganize the federal government, according to a posting on the White House blog.

“Our first focus will be looking at trade and exports to see how we can better reform these functions to give American companies a leg up in the global economy,” said the blog by Dan Pfeiffer, White House communications director.

In his State of the Union address Jan. 25 President Barack Obama said his administration would “develop a proposal to merge, consolidate, and reorganize the federal government in a way that best serves the goal of a more competitive America.”

In the address he said his administration would work to find ways to make the federal government “more competent” and “more efficient.” He said he would submit a proposal to Congress for a vote “and we will push to get it passed.”

“We can’t win the future with a government of the past,” he said.

IPad Age

In his online posting Pfeiffer wrote that any business would rethink its structure after several decades yet the “federal government is stuck in the age of black-and-white television while we are competing in the age of the iPad.”

Zients first focus will be on trade and exports, Pfeiffer wrote in the post, streamlining the “more than a dozen different agencies involved in exports” and helping to enforce trade agreements and supporting U.S. businesses exporting products abroad.

Zients “will be looking at trade and exports to see how we can better reform these functions to give American companies a leg up in the global economy,” Pfeiffer wrote.

Zients has been Deputy Director for management at OMB and has led the administration’s Accountable Government Initiative, part of an effort to make government more efficient. Zients has been the chief executive officer of The Advisory Board Company, a Washington based health care consulting firm, and chief executive officer of the Corporate Executive Board, a best practices research and advisory company also based in Washington.

Lisa Brown, who is Obama’s staff secretary, will help Zients in the reorganization effort, Pfeiffer said in the posting.

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