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Obama Appoints Performance Officer

U.S. President-elect Barack Obama appears with Nancy Killefer, his appointee as White House Chief Performance Officer, during a news conference at his transition office in Washington. (The Washington Post)

By Michael D. Shear
President-elect Barack Obama has selected a top management consultant to serve as the country's chief performance officer, a post he said would help oversee reform of the federal government and its budget.

Sources said Obama has chosen Nancy Killefer, a director at McKinsey & Company and a former assistant secretary of the treasury in the Bill Clinton administration. Obama is expected to announce his choice this morning.

Obama is spending several days emphasizing the dire consequences of the federal deficit even as he continues to push for a stimulus package that could add almost $1 trillion to the budget shortfall.

The president-elect has said the country cannot afford to worry about the deficit while attempting to get the economy moving again. But he has warned that tough choices lie ahead once the current crisis is past.

By Web Politics Editor  |  January 7, 2009; 9:32 AM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama  
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Geez, another layer of bureacracy. Wonder how many people will be needed to support the PO??? When are we going to hold people accountable in the various levels of the present day bureaucracy???

Posted by: devineone | January 7, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

The need for a White House level officer to oversee Federal performance is long overdue, since it seems the Office of Management and Budget has paid little attention to implementation actions over the years.
In fact, much of the needed legislative base for this new position is already in place with the Government Performance & Results Act of 1993. The problem has been a great lack of White House oversight and enforcement.
A good example of Federal dysfunctional operations that have gone uncorrected is the failure to comply with the legislated (Export Enhancement Act of 1992) requiring the timely preparation of a National Export Strategy and the effective coordination of all export financing operations through a Trade Promotion Coordination Committee, comprising the approximate 18 Federal Departments.
Both a recent U.S. House Small Business Committee Hearing and the work of seven Inspectors General have documented these shortcomings, but to no avail. Background on these reviews is posted on the Internal Trade Desk at
The new Chief Performance Officer will also need to work closely with the Federal Inspectors General through the President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency under the Inspector General Act of 1978, if real results are to be achieved.

Posted by: Intl-Trade-Advisor | January 7, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Raise the level of discourse people! Unless you believe there is no waste, abuse or just dumb money wasting things going on government. How could this be viewed as a bad thing? By the way the last 2 Republican Presidents did nothing to cure the deficit. The last one increased the deficit with no apparent domestic economic benefits for the small businesses he swears to protect and no tangible improvements in the role of government in our economic lives as well.

Posted by: Parismi | January 7, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Look in your bathroom mirror, ...

Posted by: jackolantyrn356 | January 7, 2009 12:55 PM

See this is exactly what I posted about earlier. A person who is obviously at home in the middle of a work week complaining while the majority of us are paying for them to be a F-up.

Posted by: TheDiplomat | January 7, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Look in your bathroom mirror, if you still have one, and ask yourself why you voted for this.
Inflation is gonna be rampant and that is the tip of the iceberg....A Performance Officier? Bet this one ends up telling us all how fast we must produce and punishing us when we can't meet quota. Welcome to the Gulag of the Soviet Block.

Posted by: jackolantyrn356 | January 7, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Look in your bathroom mirror, if you still have one, and ask yourself why you voted for this.
Inflation is gonna be rampant and that is the tip of the iceberg....A Performance Officier? Bet this one ends up telling us all how fast we must produce and punishing us when we can't meet quota. Welcome to the Gulag of the Soviet Block.

Posted by: jackolantyrn356 | January 7, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

ElMugroso and the rest, there are some people you want to see Obama fail even though it will ruin them and their families way more than it would Obama. They are as brainwashed as Al-Qaeda members who perform suicide attacks to prove a political point.

What the majority of us who want America to succeed should do is ignore those people and get behind our President but hold him accountable.

Man I hope Obama can "walk on water" because we are in need of a "messiah" to get us out of this hole.

Posted by: TheDiplomat | January 7, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

"a director at McKinsey & Company"; in case no one was watching, McKinsey & Company was where Jeffrey Skilling of Enron infamy got his training.

Posted by: ronjaboy | January 7, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

This is a good move of Obama and team. It does not matter if they are from Clinton Administration. What matters is that they be good, competent people. Everyone's got to have a past, and that past is being checked quite well, so it seems so far.

Posted by: ElMugroso | January 7, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

I think it would be great if the pessimist would try to look to the future as participants and not deterants. If we are positive, we can master anything. I do not believe that our "$ T" deficit will leave problems for our children and grandchildren. The news last week showed many areas where reform is needed and money can be saved. Just like using less gas caused the gas price to drop, buying American will increase jobs. Stop complaining, do your fair share. Everyone of the Obama appointees are an asset to our country. The agenda of the Obama administration is for peace and prosperity. Already we are taking sides on the Iraeli Offensive. Part of that foreign policy should be to stop funding Isreal and stop responding to the Isreali Lobbyist. No lobbyist should influience our foreigh policy. Hillary must be fair in negotiating with the middle east whether ally or enemy. The first time she sides with Israel, she underminds the peace process. The choice of cabinet members is excellent. I have noticed an overlap of talent and experience which will allow this group to stay current. Now the old dudes need to get on board. It's a new day. Yestertays information is obsolete. We need people young enough and smart enough to make America young and strong. It's a great time to be an American. WE have a chance to renew. Be of good courage, make it happen or watch it happen but don't be a coward and let your hatred get the best of you. Don't be the terrorist within.

Posted by: sm98yth | January 7, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

I do not see the president elect has having his administration, I see his administration as the "Carry Over from the William Jefferson Clinton administration". If things change in the next 4 yr it will be not Obama changes US, but Clinton changes US.

Posted by: RepublicanandProude | January 7, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

And her credentials include, modernizing IRS? Give me a break.

Posted by: RossPhx | January 7, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

will all you people just chill for a little while B. O. is very good at what he does let him do what he doing how he wants to do it If what he does doesnt work at first I have faith in him to "do the right thing" and change direction. michael

Posted by: coolgolf | January 7, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

In order for this country to work we need split government. With Ds or Rs in total control the country suffers

The reason Clinton worked is because we had a Republican congress with Clinton.

We have all seen how bad it was with Rs in control. With Ds in control its going to be just as bad. The one good thing is Obama is smarter than most. However, I still don't think he is going to be able to stand up to the special interests within his own party. The best thing for the country would be for the Rs to regain control of Congress in 2010.

Posted by: novamiddleman | January 7, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

"Apple has not lowered prices on its Macs.."

No. They decided that with new technology a few are willing to pay to be first. The money (as with the iPod) is used for rapid improvements and makes the market. later on, the prices come down. That is the natural progress of a market with new technology. Don't be disappointed. You got your plug in print.

Posted by: gary4books | January 7, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Add a few "expediters" and we will have a team ready to go. In case the concept is new (or old) they were used in WWII to find and solve "bottlenecks."

Posted by: gary4books | January 7, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Yes, after eight years of budget austerity and discipline, we're in big trouble with a Democratic administration and (shudder) CLINTON PEOPLE!!!
So... all you critics: Where do you get your news? How do you process information?
Why don't you care about the outcome? Why don't you want a government that works? Clinton and company proved that the government can operate within a budget, and then some. Bush meanwhile has acted like a drunken teenager in the family SUV for the past eight years. I'm sick of it, paying for it, and really, really tired of this nonsense about how fiscally irresponsible the Clinton people were. Wake up, will ya?

Posted by: wilderfield1 | January 7, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I am disappointed that Apple has not lowered prices on its Macs; I see no reason for the high prices now charged, compared to other computer prices.

I am also disappointed that Apple has ignored its i movie software for home use.

robert buckenmeyer

Posted by: robertbuckenmeyer1 | January 7, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

yea, but what has Bush done for us in 8 years. War, NSA Surveillance scandal, cut & run in Afghanistan, turn the other cheek to Georgia, forget AIDS and global starvation, never fund Hurricane Katrina relief, economic tumble...any more?
Make the checklist on performance.
Nancy has her first projects, by all the projects Bush fumbled the ball on.

13 days folks and he is gone.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | January 7, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Another recycled Clinton person appointed to lead "Change". Unsettling.

Posted by: AWWNats | January 7, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Reality sets in! It's easy to talk about controlling the budget on the campaign trail. But, now lets see how a President Obama reigns in out of control spending by a democratic Congress. I suspect we'll see the same old "All talk, No action" as we have seen in the past. In 4 years we'll hand the future generations a much larger debt. In 8 years we'll probably have to file a National bankruptcy. These people couldn't balance a $100.00 checking account.

Posted by: JayBird4 | January 7, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

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