President Barack Obama will nominate Sylvia Mathews Burwell on Monday to become his director of the White House budget office, according to a variety of sources including the Huffington Post. Mathews is currently Walmart’s philanthropic leader. The news was unofficially passed to the media on Sunday afternoon.
Burwell, a 47-year-old veteran of former President Bill Clinton’s administration and currently the president of the Walmart Foundation, will need senate confirmation to obtain the job.
Burwell, if approved, will take the place of Jeffrey Zients who is currently the acting-director in the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Burwell, in this move, would be in charge of the federal governmental office that affixes the President Obama administration’s spending policies as well as having the responsibility of producing the nation’s annual budget.
Given the current difficulties in the two major parties – Republican and Democratic – agreeing on methods of reducing the federal budget, it is purported to be a most challenging job for Burwell.
Initial reactions from inside Washington, D.C. have been positive regarding Burwell’s pending position in the Obama administration as she brings gender diversity – which many believe Obama’s inner circle is lacking at the beginning of his second term. Also, being from the business sector via Walmart, some say she will bring a new perspective to governmental finance which has been missing.
In addition to Burwell's current Walmart Foundation presidency, a position that she acquired in October of 2011, she was the president of the Global Development Program of the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. Back in 1998 through 2001, she was the deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget in Washington, D.C.