Obama Nominates Consulting Executive to Fill Management Chief Void

Orhan Cam/Shutterstock.com

This story has been updated. 

President Obama on Tuesday evening announced he has picked an executive at a top private-sector consulting firm to serve as his management chief.

Obama said he will nominate Beth Cobert, a senior partner at McKinsey & Co., to be deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget. That position has been vacant since Jeffrey Zients, who also had significant private-sector experience, left the job on May 1.

Cobert has worked for McKinsey since 1984 and is based in the firm’s San Francisco office. She is an expert in strategy and economic development, according to her company biography, and serves clients in industries including financial services, telecommunications and health care. She is the firm’s global leader for functional capability building, responsible for developing skills among more than 9,000 consulting staff.

OMB Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell said in a statement that she is “incredibly pleased” with the nomination, and noted that Cobert has “led major projects to generate performance improvements through process streamlining, enhanced customer service, improved deployment of technology, more effective marketing programs and strengthened organizational effectiveness.” Cobert has also “been a champion for people development and initiatives to support women's advancement to leadership positions,” Burwell added.

Robert Shea, an OMB veteran of the George W. Bush administration now a principal with Grant Thornton LLP, told Government Executive he is “glad we have a leader nominated to take the administration's management agenda to the next level. I'll be interested to see what new ideas or innovations she can bring to solving the government's seemingly intractable problems.”

Before joining McKinsey, Cobert was an analyst at Goldman Sachs. She earned her B.A. from Princeton University and her M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

The deputy director for management position has been filled in recent months on an acting basis by Chief Information Officer Steve VanRoekel, whom Burwell thanked for advancing the “administration’s tech agenda as well as the development of the Second Term Management Agenda to make our government more efficient and effective, delivering impact to communities across the country.”

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.