During the 2008 presidential campaigns, critics were quick to point out Democratic candidate Barack Obama’s relative lack of experience leading large organizations. Three years into his term, some say the president has indeed faced a steep learning curve, as senior correspondent Charles S. Clark reported in the July issue of Government Executive. Others note Obama has improved government operations. He designated former management consultant Jeffrey Zients as the federal chief performance officer, and put Vice President Joe Biden in charge of a Campaign to Cut Waste.
Under their leadership, the White House has unveiled a number of management memos and executive orders, aimed at everything from selling off unneeded real estate to streamlining federal contracts. Our timeline reviews how the Obama administration’s management strategy unfolded.