Obama nominates OMB deputy director, 21 others

Beth Cobert Beth Cobert (Photo: McKinsey and Co.)

Beth Cobert, a senior partner at consultancy McKinsey and Co., has been tapped to become deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget.

President Barack Obama announced the nomination as part of a batch of 22 nominations that span the government from the Education Department to Veterans Affairs to the State Department and the Navy.


“I am grateful that these talented and dedicated individuals have agreed to take on these important roles and devote their talents to serving the American people,” Obama said in a statement.

If confirmed, Cobert would replace Jeffrey Zients, who spent four years as OMB’s deputy director. Federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel has been serving as acting deputy director since Zients’ departure in May.

Cobert has been with McKinsey since 1984 and is currently the co-leader of the company’s global marketing and sales practice, according to her company bio. In that capacity, she’s worked with clients in various industries — from financial services to telecom to health care.

“[Cobert] has led major projects to generate performance improvements through process streamlining, enhanced customer service, improved deployment of technology, more effective marketing programs and strengthened organizational effectiveness,” said Sylvia Burwell, OMB director, in a statement.

Burwell also commended Cobert’s commitment to promoting women.


“Within McKinsey, Beth has been a champion for people development and initiatives to support women’s advancement to leadership positions.”

Other nominations include:

  • Jim Shelton as deputy secretary of the Education Department. He has been acting deputy secretary since June 2013.
  • Sloan Gibson as deputy secretary of the Veterans Affairs Department. Gibson is currently president and chief executive officer of the United Service Organizations.
  • Heather Higginbottom as deputy secretary for management and resources at the State Department. Higginbottom is currently counselor at the Office of the Secretary at the State Department.
  • Jo Ann Rooney as undersecretary for the Navy. Rooney has been away from government for more than a year, working with a consulting firm. Prior to that, she worked at the Defense Department as principal deputy undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness.

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