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Walmart exec to become Obama’s budget chief


Walmart Foundation president Sylvia Mathews Burwell will be named director of President Barack Obama’s Office of Management and Budget during a ceremony at the White House scheduled for Monday morning.

Obama announced his intent to appointment Burwell several months ago, but the nomination on Monday makes it official and paves the way for Senate confirmation hearings to begin.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., president and CEO Mike Duke said Burwell would do a tremendous job serving the county if she is confirmed by the Senate.

"Sylvia is a strong leader who both masters the details and has a clear vision for making big things happen," Duke said. "She cares deeply about people and has natural personal warmth that enables her to build relationships and drive results that deliver impact. She understands business and the role that business, government and civil society must play to build a strong economy that provides opportunity and strengthens communities across the country."

Burwell’s tenure at Walmart was short lived. She joined the company a little over a year ago after roughly a decade in various leadership roles with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Prior to that, she held various positions in Washington, D.C. including deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, deputy chief of staff to President Bill Clinton and chief of staff to Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin.

As head of the Office of Management and Budget, Burwell will be responsible for preparing the president’s annual budget.

Prior to her federal government work, Burwell worked for McKinsey & Company. She is a member of the board of the Council on Foreign Relations, the board of MetLife, and the Aspen Strategy Group. She received an A.B. from Harvard University and a B.A. from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. 


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