Obama taps aide to lead ‘reorganization’ of federal government

President Obama tapped an aide to lead a “reorganization” of the federal government, communications director Dan Pfeiffer said Sunday.

Obama named Jeffrey Zients, a former CEO of the Advisory Board Company who serves as the president’s chief performance officer, to lead an effort to find efficiencies and decrease overlap.

“The fact is that we live and do business in the information age, but the last major reorganization of the government happened in the middle of the last century,” Pfeiffer wrote on the White House blog. “Over the past few decades, there has not been a business or large organization that has not rethought, retooled, and revamped how they did their job to respond to a growing, more competitive global economy and an ever-changing technology landscape.”

Pfieffer framed the new initiative as keeping with the president’s State of the Union address, in which Obama emphasized the need to modernize the government through increased investments in education, technology and infrastructure.

Republicans have been skittish to embrace the new spending associated with the president’s initiatives, but the prospect of savings to be found by Zients’s project could provide Obama with some more political support to pursue investments and projects.

Pfieffer wrote that Lisa Brown, the assistant to the president and staff secretary, would also help with the effort, which is expected to consult with lawmakers, government officials and members of the business community in the process.

“The president believes that we need to reform our government to make it better organized and better equipped to support American competitiveness,” Pfeiffer wrote. “We want to ensure that we’re aligning all of the resources we have into negotiating the best agreements, enforcing our trade rights, supporting our exporters and promoting their products.”

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