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The White House Has a New Leader for Federal Workforce and Agency Performance Issues

Biden taps former national security official with extensive experience at outside good government groups.

President Biden on Monday named a new top executive to serve within the White House on issues related to the federal workforce and agency performance, tapping a long-time national security official who has worked recently on government personnel issues. 

Loren DeJonge Schulman this week began her tenure as associate director for performance and personnel management within the Office of Management and Budget. She replaced Pam Coleman, who left the position last fall. Her appointment was first reported by Federal News Network and confirmed by OMB and DeJonge Schulman herself. 

“I am excited to join the team at OMB and help advance the president’s agenda to make government work better for all Americans and strengthen one of our government’s most valuable assets—the federal workforce,” DeJonge Schulman said. 

She joined the White House after spending nearly three years at the Partnership for Public Service as the vice president for research, evaluation and modernizing government, where she focused on issues including improving customer experience and reducing the number of political appointees. She previously worked as a senior fellow at a national security think tank, the Center for a New American Security. She started her career in 2005 as a Presidential Management Fellow at the Defense Department and spent the next decade there and at the National Security Council. 

“We are thrilled to welcome Loren DeJonge Schulman to OMB,” said Jason Miller, OMB’s deputy director for management. “Her extensive experience in strategic planning, good governance, and modernizing government makes her a perfect fit to lead the Office of Performance and Personnel Management.” 

In her new role, DeJonge Schulman will help oversee implementation of the President’s Management Agenda, supporting the federal workforce, advancing efforts to boost evidence-based policymaking and generally making the government more accessible and effective. 

She recently reflected on her federal service in a blog post, noting it was in some ways defined by the "many failures of government management" that included an inability to delineate the roles or career paths of new hires, "toxic or overwhelmed" supervisors and overly optimistic goals that "too often turned into fantasies." She added at the National Security Council she worked with some of the most "talented, dedicated colleagues" she ever encountered. 

DeJonge Schulman identified “sound leadership, robust talent management, a commitment to building strong teams that comes from the top, stewardship of public trust, and a strong culture of organizational learning and evaluation” as key priorities to improve government operations. Her appointment does not require congressional action.

During her tenure, Coleman helped oversee the Biden administration's unwinding of President Trump's policies that diminished federal union authorities and threatened to erase civil service protections. The White House named “strengthening the federal workforce” as a pillar of Biden’s management agenda in 2021 and subsequently identified priority goals of revamping the hiring process, attracting new federal workers in mission-critical jobs, promoting diversity and creating "more equitable" engagement opportunities.