The Senate unanimously confirmed President Obama’s nominee to lead his budget office with a 96-0 vote Wednesday.
Sylvia Mathews Burwell will serve as director of the Office of Management and Budget, the first Senate-confirmed chief since now-Treasury Secretary Jack Lew left the post to become Obama’s chief of staff in January 2012. Burwell replaces Jeffrey Zients, who has served acting director since Lew’s departure.
Burwell, who most recently held the position of president of the Walmart Foundation, served as OMB deputy director in the Clinton administration.
In a statement, Obama said Burwell will be a key figure in replacing the automatic budget cuts of sequestration.
“Sylvia shares my commitment to growing our economy, shrinking our deficits in a balanced way, and reigniting a rising, thriving middle class,” Obama said. “Sylvia has spent a career fighting for working families, and she was part of an OMB team that presided over three budget surpluses in a row. 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.”
The new OMB chief will need to find a new director for performance and personnel management, as the department’s current head -- Shelley Metzenbaum -- announced her departure Wednesday, Federal News Radio has reported.
Metzenbaum served in that role since September 2009. She oversaw the launch of Performance.gov -- a website designed to track the progress of efficiency and innovation in government.