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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Sylvia Mathews Burwell: Obama's behind-the-scenes budget warrior -- By Susan Crabtree, The Washington Examiner

This profile was originally published on October 4, 2013. Sylvia Mathews Burwell will be tapped by President Obama to replace Kathleen Sebelius as the head of the Department of Health and Human Services, according to a senior administration official.

Sylvia Mathews Burwell, President Obama's budget director, is at ground zero of the government shutdown showdown, but you wouldn't know it from the headlines.

During previous budget standoffs with Republicans, Office of Management and Budget directors would be front and center, publicly pushing the administration’s case. Jack Lew, who served 2 years in the post before becoming Obama’s chief of staff and then Treasury Secretary, was a familiar face on the talk shows and at White House press briefings.

Burwell, a 47-year-old West Virginia native known for her modesty, is taking a far more behind-the-scenes approach. Her most public contribution to the government funding debate came in the form of a wonky memo on Sept. 30 directing federal agencies to execute plans for “an orderly shutdown.”

Burwell, though, isn’t new to Washington’s budget battles. Although just five months into her tenure at OMB, she has long been a Democratic stalwart and fiscal policy veteran.

She interned for Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., while a student at Harvard, where she earned a spot as a Rhodes scholar. She went on to work for Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis before pitching in on then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton's successful White House bid in 1992.

In the Clinton administration, she rose through the ranks, serving in a number of key posts: staff director of the National Economic Council, White House deputy chief of staff, chief of staff to then-Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and deputy director of the OMB under Lew.

When Obama nominated her to head OMB earlier this year, Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., didn't know her and called his friend Erskine Bowles, Clinton's longtime chief of staff, to get his read.

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