White House Profile
Jack Lew
Former Chief of Staff

Jack Lew is former Chief of Staff to President Barack Obama. Prior to this role, he was the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), a position he previously held from 1998 to 2001. Before returning to OMB in 2010, Lew was the first Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, in which capacity he served as Chief Operating Officer of the department.

Before joining the State Department, Lew served as managing director and chief operating officer of Citi Global Wealth Management and then Citi Alternative Investments (CAI). Before that, he was executive vice president and chief operating officer of New York University, where he was responsible for budget, finance, and operations, as well as a professor of public administration. From 2004 through 2008, Lew served on the Corporation for National and Community Service Board and chaired its Management, Administration, and Governance Committee.

Lew served in President Clinton’s cabinet as the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). From 1998 to 2001, he led the Administration budget team and served as a member of the National Security Council. During his tenure at OMB, the U.S. budget operated at a surplus for three consecutive years. Earlier, Lew served as OMB’s Deputy Director and was a member of the negotiating team that reached a bi-partisan agreement to balance the budget. As Special Assistant to President Clinton from 1993 to 1994, Mr. Lew helped design Americorps, the national service program.

Lew began his career in Washington in 1973 as a legislative aide. From 1979 to 1987, he was a principal domestic policy advisor to House Speaker Thomas P. O'Neill, Jr, where he served at the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee as Assistant Director and then Executive Director. There, he was the Speaker’s liaison to the Greenspan Commission, which negotiated a bipartisan solution to reform Social Security in 1983 and was responsible for domestic and economic issues, including Medicare, budget, tax, trade, appropriations, and energy issues.

Before joining the Obama Administration, Lew co-chaired the Advisory Board for City Year New York and was on the boards of the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the Brookings Institution Hamilton Project, and the Tobin Project. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the National Academy of Social Insurance, and of the bar in Massachusetts and the District of Columbia.

Jack Lew's Posts

  • Mid-Session Review 2012

    OMB releases the Mid-Session Review (MSR), which updates the Administration’s estimates for outlays, receipts, and the deficit in light of economic, legislative, and other developments since the President’s 2012 Budget was released in February.

  • 2013 Budget Guidance

    Director Lew sends to the heads of Cabinet and federal agencies budget guidance for FY 2013.

  • Security Spending in the Deficit Agreement

    A key part of the recent deficit reduction agreement is that the approximately $1 trillion in discretionary cuts are spread across the security and non-security parts of the budget.

  • Ethics


    The President’s announcement that Steven VanRoekel will be our nation’s next CIO comes at an important moment for our nation. As OMB works closely with the President and Vice President on the Campaign to Cut Waste, information technology (IT) is at the center of our efforts to save money, eliminate waste, and do more with less.

  • Economy

    Baseline Basics

    The CBO releases its analysis of the debt ceiling extension and deficit reduction plan that the House of Representatives is considering. Jack Lew, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, discusses our opposition to this bill as the President explained in his address to the nation.

  • Education


  • Technology

    Our Nation’s First Federal CIO

    Today, Vivek Kundra, our nation’s first federal Chief Information Officer (CIO) announced that later this summer he will be leaving the post for a fellowship at Harvard University.

  • Financial Reform

    New Ideas to Cut Improper Payments

    For many years, the federal government has erroneously cut checks to the wrong person for the wrong amount and for the wrong reason – sometimes these misdirected payments even go to dead people or prisoners. These mistakes, though often inadvertent, contributed to the $125 billion in improper payments made in 2010.

  • Fiscal Responsibility

    CBO and the 2012 Budget

    Today, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its preliminary analysis of the President’s FY 2012 budget. Their analysis leads them to a different projection of the deficit picture, and it’s worth understanding our analytical differences.

  • Seniors and Social Security

    Hammer Misses the Mark

    In today’s Washington Post, Charles Krauthammer calls into question the integrity of the Social Security trust fund and the integrity of statements I have made recently about the program. Let’s examine his charges.

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