Obama to Nominate Walmart’s Sylvia Mathews Burwell as Budget Director
(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama will nominate a veteran of the Clinton administration and Walmart’s current philanthropic director to lead his Office of Management and Budget on Monday.
A senior administration official tells ABC News that Sylvia Mathews Burwell will be appointed to replace the acting director, Jeffrey Zients, at OMB. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because a formal announcement has not yet been made.
If confirmed by the Senate, this will be Burwell’s second stint at OMB, having served there as a deputy to its former director, Jack Lew, during Bill Clinton’s presidency in 1998.
She first came to the White House after working in Clinton’s 1992 election campaign and leading his economic transition team into the Oval Office. She also served as a deputy chief of staff under Erskine Bowles and in Treasury during that administration.
Burwell currently leads the Walmart Foundation, the retailer’s charity division, and previously ran the global development wing of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Burwell’s appointment has not been unexpected. But her background in Walmart may not sit well with some liberals. Despite her philanthropic position, the retailer’s low wages and heavy opposition to unionized workers have drawn the ire of labor advocates, usually allied with the Democratic Party.
In addition to her professional experience, she would add a woman to the president’s cabinet. Obama was criticized after his reelection for the appointment of too many males to top positions, including Treasury Secretary Lew, John Kerry as secretary of state, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, and Chief of Staff Denis McDonough.
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