Friday, July 30, 2010

Orszag Sends Goodbye Memo

WaPo reported the contents of Peter Orszag's goodbye letter to OMB staff. My highlights are below:

As you know my last day in the Administration is today.

Before you read about it in the press, I also wanted to let you know about the transition here at OMB. Until Jack Lew is confirmed as OMB Director, Jeff Zients will serve as Acting Director. Jeff Liebman has been planning to resume his teaching and research at Harvard and rejoin his family already back in Massachusetts. Rob Nabors will therefore return to OMB to take Jeff’s place as Acting Deputy Director.

Peter packed a number of leadership changes into his final memo. While five weeks may not be time to find a replacement, Orszag waited until his final day to announce interim leadership.

Rob Nabors returns from Rahm Emanuel's Chief of Staff office, where he served as Senior Adviser. Jeff Zients was a private equity underwriter (PEU) for Portfolio Logic prior to becoming the White House's Chief Performance Officer. Oddly, Peter Orszag may join a private equity firm, after a five month cooling off period at a Blue think tank.

My bet is Orszag will announce his high paying job after the November elections. So many things to do, so little time. With Peter gone, Rob or Jeff (or their replacements) will throw things against the health care wall to see what sticks.

The federal government's answer to performance, putting data on line so citizens can hold leaders accountable, remains laughably on track. I'll close with Peter's words on the topic

Jeff Zients will enhance the transparency of the government’s finances so that citizens are empowered to hold us all accountable for improved stewardship and performance.
The leadership bar continues to fall. Don't you miss Peter already?

Update: Politico reported "Orszag leaves for a position as a distinguished visiting fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, a position he said he hopes to use to think through issues that came up at the OMB and to plot his next step.

“Not surprisingly, there have been a whole series of opportunities that have arisen, and I haven’t explored any of them for ethics reasons,” he said, adding that he wouldn’t rule out a post on Wall Street, despite the administration’s clashes with the banking sector.

Update 12-11-10:  Orszag landed a Vice Chairman job at Citigroup.  He'll be in the Global Banking group

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