Jacob „Jack“ J. Lew

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Jacob „Jack“ J. Lew (born August 29, 1955) is the 25th and current White House Chief of Staff. Most recently, he was the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, a position he previously held from 1998 to 2001.

Lew was born in New York City. He attended New York City public schools, graduating from Forest Hills High School. His father was a lawyer and rare-book dealer who came to the United States from Poland as a child. Lew attended Carleton College in Minnesota where his faculty adviser was Paul Wellstone, who eventually represented Minnesota in the U.S. Senate. He graduated from Harvard College in 1978 and the Georgetown University Law Center in 1983.

He worked as an aide to Rep. Joe Moakley (D-Mass.) from 1974 to 1975. He then was a senior policy adviser to House Speaker Tip O’Neill. Under O’Neill he served at the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee as Assistant Director and then Executive Director, and was responsible for work on domestic and economic issues including Social SecurityMedicare, budget, tax, trade, appropriations, and energy issues.

Lew practiced as an attorney for five years as a partner at Van Ness, Feldman and Curtis. His practice dealt primarily with electric power generation. He has also worked as Executive Director of the Center for Middle East Research, Issues Director for the Democratic National Committee’s Campaign 88, and Deputy Director of the Office of Program Analysis in the city of Boston’s Office of Management and Budget.

From February 1993 to 1994, Lew served as Special Assistant to the President under President Clinton. Lew was responsible for policy development and the drafting of the national service initiative (AmeriCorps) and health care reform legislation.

Lew left the White House in October 1994 to work as OMB’s Executive Associate Director and Associate Director for Legislative Affairs. From August 1995 until July 1998, Lew served as Deputy Director of OMB. There, Lew was chief operating officer responsible for day-to-day management of a staff of 500. He had crosscutting responsibilities to coordinate Clinton administration efforts on budget and appropriations matters. He frequently served as a member of the Administration negotiating team, including regarding the Balanced Budget Act of 1997.

President Clinton nominated Lew to be Director of the OMB, and the United States Senate confirmed him for that job on July 31, 1998. He served in that capacity until the end of the Clinton administration in January 2001. As OMB Director, Lew had the lead responsibility for the Clinton Administration’s policies on budget, management, and appropriations issues. As a member of the Cabinet and senior member of the economic team, he advised the President on a broad range of domestic and international policies. He represented the Administration in budget negotiations with Congress and served as a member of the National Security Council.

After leaving public office in the Clinton administration, Lew served as the Executive Vice President for Operations at New York University and was a Clinical Professor of Public Administration at NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service.

In June 2006, Lew was named chief operating officer of Citigroup’s Alternative Investments unit, a proprietary trading group. The unit he oversaw invested in a hedge fund „that bet on the housing market to collapse.“

Lew co-chaired the Advisory Board for City Year New York. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Brookings Institution Hamilton Project Advisory Board, and the National Academy of Social Insurance. Lew is also a member of the bar in Massachusetts and the District of Columbia.

As Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, Lew was the State Department’s chief operating officer and was primarily responsible for resource issues, while James Steinberg, who is also serving as the Deputy Secretary, was responsible for policy. Lew was co-leader of the State Department’s Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review.

On July 13, 2010, the White House announced that Lew had been chosen to replace Peter Orszag as Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), subject to Senate confirmation. On November 18, 2010, Lew was confirmed by the Senate by unanimous consent.

The $3.7 trillion 2011 budget President Obama unveiled the administration estimated reductions to federal spending deficits by $1.1 trillion over the next decade if adopted and economic assumptions were fully achieved. Two-thirds of the that estimated reduction would come from spending cuts through a five-year freeze in discretionary spending first announced in Obama’s 2011 State of the Union address, as well as savings to mandatory programs such as Medicare and lower interest payments on the debt that would result from the lower spending. Tax increases are responsible for the other third of the reduction, including a cap on itemized reductions for wealthier taxpayers and the elimination of tax breaks for oil and gas companies.

On January 9, 2012, President Obama announced that Lew would replace William M. Daley as White House Chief of Staff.

  • Lew is an Orthodox Jew who observes the Jewish Sabbath.
  • Lew is the first Orthodox Jew to hold the position of White House Chief of Staff.

Interviewed in a 2010 article, Lew’s former boss on the National Security Council, Sandy Berger, commented that „Lew’s faith never got in the way of performing his duties.“ Berger also said that Lew’s commitment to his family was also extremely important, but that Lew „was able to balance the requirements, which was very, very hard — and he was determined to observe his religious traditions.“

A 2011 press release from the Religion News Service noted that Lew also „has extensive connections in the American Jewish community,“ and that he might be able to help President Obama „build a more friendly rapport“ with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.


  1. ^ „Obama names Jack Lew new chief of staff“Ynetnews. Retrieved January 09, 2012.
  2. a b „President Obama Announces His Intent to Nominate Jacob Lew as OMB Director“White House. July 13, 2010. Retrieved July 13, 2010.
  3. a b c Luke Johnson Jack Lew Biography: Meet The New White House Chief Of Staff January 9, 2012 Huffington Post
  4. ^ „Obama National Security Team Takes Shape“National Journal. December 23, 2008. Retrieved July 13, 2010.
  5. ^ „Obama Names Steinberg, Lew State Department Deputies“Bloomberg L.P.. December 23, 2008. Retrieved February 6, 2011.
  6. ^ „Senior Officials“United States Department of State. Retrieved February 6, 2011.
  7. ^ Long, Emily (July 15, 2009). „State Department launches quadrennial review“Government Executive. Retrieved February 6, 2011.
  8. ^ Obama 2012 budget proposes $1.1T deficit cut over next decade
  9. ^ „Obama chief of staff Bill Daley steps down, budget chief Jack Lew steps up“
  10. a b c Wagner, Ellis, White House Correspondent, „Clinton’s Budget Brain Returning to OMB Helm,“ Politics Daily, July 16, 2010, retrieved February 5, 2012.
  11. ^ Guttman, Nathan, „Jack Lew Named White House Chief of Staff,“ The Jewish Daily Forward, January 9, 2012, retrieved February 5, 2012.
  12. ^ Gibson, David, „New White House Staffers, Cecille Munoz and Jacob Lew, Have Strategic Catholic, Jewish Ties,“ Religion News Service, January 10, 2012, retrieved February 5, 2012.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Franklin Raines
Director of the Office of Management and Budget
Served under: Bill Clinton

Succeeded by
Mitch Daniels
New office Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources
Succeeded by
Thomas Nides
Preceded by
Jeffrey Zients
Director of the Office of Management and Budget
Served under: Barack Obama

Succeeded by
Jeffrey Zients
Preceded by
William Daley
White House Chief of Staff
United States order of precedence
Preceded by
Janet Napolitano
as Secretary of Homeland Security
Order of Precedence of the United States
as White House Chief of Staff
Succeeded by
Gil Kerlikowske
as Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy



Current members of the Cabinet of the United States

Cabinet of President Barack Obama (since 2009)

Cabinet of President Bill Clinton (1993–2001)

Jacob J. „Jack“ Lew (* 29. August 1955 in New York City) ist ein jüdischer Jurist und Politiker (Demokratische Partei). Unter Präsident Bill Clinton war er Vizeaußenminister, dem Kabinett Barack Obamas gehörte er ab dem 18. November 2010 als Direktor des Office of Management and Budget an, ehe er am 27. Januar 2012 auf den Posten des Stabschefs im Weißen Haus wechselte. Er war zuvor unter anderem als Rechtsanwalt, Hochschullehrer und Wirtschaftsmanager tätig.

Nach dem Schulbesuch studierte er zunächst an der Harvard University und erwarb dort 1978 einen Bachelor of Arts (B.A.). Bereits nach Beendigung der Schulzeit 1973 war er bis zur Beendigung des Studiums 1979 Hilfskraft für Gesetzgebungsverfahren im Kongreß. Anschließend fungierte er von 1979 bis 1987 als innenpolitischer Berater von Tip O’Neill, dem demokratischen Sprecher des Repräsentantenhauses. Zugleich absolvierte er ein postgraduales Studium der Rechtswissenschaften an der Georgetown University und schloß dieses 1983 mit einem Juris Doctor (J.D.) ab. Nach seiner Zulassung als Rechtsanwalt im Bundesstaat Massachusetts war er zwischen 1988 bis 1993 Partner der Kanzlei Van Ness, Feldman & Curtis.

1993 wechselte er in den Regierungsdienst und wurde Sonderassistent von Präsident Clinton für die Corporation for National and Community Service (AmeriCorps) im Stab des Weißen Hauses. Im Anschluss wurde er zunächst Stellvertretender Direktor des Büros für Management und Budget und schließlich am 21. Mai 1998 selbst Direktor dieser Bundesbehörde. Damit gehörte Jacob Lew dem erweiterten Kabinett von Präsident Clinton bis zum Ende von dessen Präsidentschaft am 20. Januar 2001 an.

Nach seinem Ausscheiden aus dem Regierungsdienst nahm er 2001 einen Ruf als Professor für Öffentliche Verwaltung an der New York University an und war zeitgleich von 2001 bis 2006 Executive Vicepresident sowie Chief Operating Officer (COO) der New York University. Zugleich war er von 2004 bis 2008 Vorstandsmitglied der Corporation for National and Community Service. Zwischen 2006 und 2009 war er darüber hinaus Mitarbeiter der Citigroup und zwar zunächst als COO für Globales Wohlstandsmanagement (Global Wealth Management) und dann von 2008 bis 2009 als COO für Alternative Investitionen (Alternative Investment). Ferner war er Vorstandsmitglied der Kaiser Family Foundation und des Center on Budget and Policy Priorities sowie im Council on Foreign Relations.

Nach der Wahl von Barack Obama zum US-Präsidenten wurde er im Januar 2009 neben James Steinberg Vizeaußenminister (Deputy Secretary of State) und war als solcher zuständig für Management und Haushaltsplanung im Außenministerium. Am 13. Juli 2010 wurde er wiederum als Direktor des Office of Management and Budget nominiert, nachdem der bisherige Amtsinhaber Peter R. Orszag für den 30. Juli 2010 seinen Rücktritt angekündigt hatte. Die Bestätigung durch den Senat erfolgte am 18. November desselben Jahres. Während der Vakanz seit Orszags Rücktritt hatte Jeffrey Zients die Behörde kommissarisch geleitet.

Nach dem Rücktritt von William M. Daley als Stabschef des Weißen Hauses trat Lew Ende Januar 2012 dessen Nachfolge an.

Lew ist verheiratet, Vater zweier Kinder und Mitglied einer orthodoxen jüdischen Gemeinde.


  1.  Stabschef Daley tritt zurück: Obama verliert Top-Berater bei sueddeutsche.de, 9. Januar 2012 (abgerufen am 9. Januar 2012).


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