Following up on a campaign commitment to improve government performance, President-Elect Obama named Nancy Killefer as his first “chief performance officer.” She will be located in the Office of Management and Budget and will also serve in role of deputy director for management at OMB.
In making his announcement, Obama said “this is among the most important appointments I will make.” He noted that not only does the government have a budget deficit but also a deficit of accountability and trust. This is the earliest that any new President has announced a leader of a government-wide reform effort. For example, both Clinton and Bush made announcements in their first 100 days in office, but not during their transitions.
Killefer previously served as the Treasury’s chief operating officer under President Clinton and as managing director for McKinsey consulting company. She remarked at her announcement that “there is an urgency to begin now,” and emphasized that government employees will be central to her efforts.
And for some background, here’s a 2006 piece by Killefer on improving government productivity.