Obama Names Walmart Exec For Key White House Post

Obama nominates Sylvia Mathews Burwell

President Barack Obama intends to nominate Sylvia Mathews Burwell to head the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) according to multiple news sources.

Burwell, 47, heads the Walmart Foundation, the charitable arm of the retailer. Walmart handed out about $1 billion to projects around the world including those fighting hunger. She previously worked for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as president of the Global Development Program. Burwell is not a newcomer to government, however, in that she worked for the Clinton administration in several capacities, including in OMB.

According to CNBC, she offers certain advantages to the administration as federal budget chief:

“She brings a certain outsider status to Obama’s inner circle and as such may offer a fresh perspective from the business world far away from Washington.

“And Burwell would bring gender diversity to the top echelons of the Obama White House. The president has drawn some fire from critics for picking men for many top jobs.”

If confirmed by the Senate, Burwell would replace acting OMB director Jeffrey Zients who may get another post in the Obama administration. Ironically, Zients worked at Bain & Company earlier in his career, the same company that the Obama campaign blasted Mitt Romney for running.

A White House official had this to say about the qualifications for OMB director by Sylvia Mathews Burwell according to NBC:

“Burwell has a proven record as a thoughtful problem solver who builds consensus to get things done. She has a deep knowledge of budget and economic issues along with her record of fighting for working Americans make her the perfect choice to lead the OMB at this important time.”

Reacting to the Burwell nomination as budget chief, which is expected to be made official tomorrow, US Sen. Jeff Sessions (R – Ala.), the ranking member on the Budget Committee, said

“The director must lead an effort to make government leaner and more efficient and must be committed to providing honest and accurate information on the dangerous financial condition of our country.”