* Veteran of Clinton White House
* Brings more gender diversity to Obama team
By Steve Holland and Richard Cowan and Jeff Mason
WASHINGTON, March 3 President Barack Obama plans
to nominate Walmart's philanthropic head Sylvia Mathews Burwell
to become director of the White House budget office on Monday,
sources familiar with the matter said on Sunday.
Burwell, 47, is a veteran of Bill Clinton's White House and
for the past year has been president of the Walmart Foundation
at the corporation's Bentonville, Arkansas, headquarters. The
charity organization in 2011 gave out nearly $1 billion in
corporate contributions to projects around the world such as
fighting hunger and empowering women.
Burwell, who is originally from West Virginia, would replace
Jeffrey Zients, who has been serving as acting director at the
White House Office of Management and Budget, known by the
The move will reunite her with another Clinton White House
veteran, Jack Lew, who was Clinton's OMB director for a time and
was recently confirmed as Obama's treasury secretary.
The sources, who asked to remain unidentified, said plans
were for Burwell to be nominated on Monday. The job requires
Burwell would take over the office that carries out the
administration's spending policies and prepares an annual
budget. The budget office will inevitably be caught up in the
ongoing budget battle between Democrats and Republicans as
lawmakers seek ways to reduce annual $1 trillion federal
She brings a certain outsider status to Obama's inner circle
and may offer a fresh perspective from the business world far
away from Washington.
Burwell would also bring gender diversity to the top
echelons of the Obama White House after the president drew fire
from critics for picking men for many top jobs.
Burwell had served as deputy OMB director during part of
Clinton's 1990s presidency. She was also deputy White House
chief of staff and served as chief of staff for Treasury
Secretary Robert Rubin.
After her work in the Clinton administration, Burwell served
as president of the Global Development Program at the Bill and
Melinda Gates Foundation. She led the foundation's grantmaking
and advocacy efforts aimed at lifting the world's poorest people
out of hunger and extreme poverty.