April 19, 2009 in Nation/World

Obama picks pair to lead efficiency bid

Associated Press
Associated Press photo

This 2004 photo shows Jeffrey Zients, President Obama’s new chief performance officer.
(Full-size photo)

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama on Saturday named Jeffrey Zients, a longtime management consultant, as chief performance officer to head an effort to streamline government and cut costs.

The selection of Zients comes after Obama’s first choice for the newly created position, Nancy Killefer, withdrew in February over tax problems. Zients, a founder and managing partner of the investment firm Portfolio Logic, will also serve as a deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Obama also named Aneesh Chopra, currently the secretary of technology for Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, as chief technology officer to help reduce health care costs and foster cybersecurity. He joins Vivek Kundra as chief information officer, who will be responsible for setting technology policy across the government.

Zients has 20 years of business experience as a chief executive, management consultant and entrepreneur. He has helped lead firms that provide performance benchmarks and best practices across a wide range of industries.

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