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Peter R. Orszag: Wikis


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Peter Richard Orszag

Assumed office 
January 20, 2009
President Barack Obama
Deputy Rob Nabors
Jeffrey Zients
Preceded by Jim Nussle

In office
January 18, 2007 – November 25, 2008
Preceded by Douglas Holtz-Eakin
Succeeded by Douglas Elmendorf

Born December 16, 1968 (1968-12-16) (age 41)
Boston, Massachusetts
Political party Democratic
Relations Reba Karp Orszag (mother)
Steven A. Orszag (father)
Michael Orszag (brother)
Jonathan Orszag (brother)
Alma mater Princeton University, A.B.
London School of Economics, M.Sc., Ph.D.

Peter Richard Orszag (pronounced /ˈɔrzæɡ/; born December 16, 1968) is an American economist who is currently the 37th Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Barack Obama. He was Director of the Congressional Budget Office when nominated.



Orszag grew up in Lexington, Massachusetts.[1] After graduating from Phillips Exeter Academy with high honors (1987), he earned an A.B. summa cum laude in economics from Princeton University in 1991, and a M.Sc. (1992) and a Ph.D. (1997) in economics from the London School of Economics. He was a Marshall Scholar 1991–1992, and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa.[2] He is also a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science.

Economists Alan Blinder (who taught him at Princeton) and Joseph Stiglitz were his mentors early in life, and later Robert Rubin.[3]

He currently lives in Washington, D.C. He runs marathons and enjoys country music.[3][4]

In 1997, he married Cameron Hamill,[5] , stepdaughter of Donald Kennedy, former President of Stanford University, with whom he had two children. They have since been divorced. He recently had a daughter with an ex-girlfriend, Claire Milonas, a Greek shipping heiress.[6] As of January 2010, he is engaged to ABC News reporter Bianna Golodryga with a planned wedding in October.[7]

During his testimony before the House Budget Committee in March 2009 he said "there ain't no right way to do the wrong thing", which is a lyric from "Ain't No Right Way" off of Toby Keith's White Trash with Money.[8]


Orszag was a senior fellow and Deputy Director of Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution, where he directed The Hamilton Project and (in conjunction with Georgetown University's Public Policy Institute) the Pew Charitable Trust's Retirement Security Project.

He served as Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy (1997–1998), and as Senior Economist and Senior Adviser on the Council of Economic Advisers (1995–1996) during the Clinton administration. He also formed a consulting group called Sebago Associates, which merged into Competition Policy Associates and was bought by FTI Consulting Inc. He was a consultant for McKinsey & Company on an HMO project in San Francisco, California.

He co-authored a paper titled "Implications of the New Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Risk-Based Capital Standard" with Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz in 2002 in which they inferred that "on the basis of historical experience, the risk to the government from a potential default on GSE debt is effectively zero."[9] However, they did correctly note there that "the risk-based capital standard, while based on a hypothetical economic shock significantly more severe than anything that the economy has actually experienced over the past forty years, may fail to reflect the probability of another Great Depression-like scenario."

Orszag was director of the Congressional Budget Office from January 2007 to November 2008. During his tenure, he repeatedly drew attention to the role rising health care expenditures are likely to play in the government's long-term fiscal problems—and, by extension, the nation's long-term economic problems. "I have not viewed CBO's job as just to passively evaluate what Congress proposes, but rather to be an analytical resource. And part of that is to highlight things that are true and that people may not want to hear, including that we need to address health-care costs."[10] During his time at the CBO, he added 20 full-time health analysts (bringing the total number to 50), thereby strengthening the CBO's analytical capabilities and preparing Congress for health-care reform.[10]

Office of Management and Budget

Peter Orszag with President Obama in the Oval Office

On November 25, 2008, President-elect Barack Obama announced that Orszag would be his nominee for director of the Office of Management and Budget, the arm of the White House responsible for crafting the federal budget and overseeing the effectiveness of federal programs.[11][12] At 41, he is the youngest member of the Obama Cabinet.

Orszag, in a November 2009 speech in New York, said that deficits, expected to add $9 trillion to the current national debt of $12 trillion over the next decade, are "serious and ultimately unsustainable." He said that deficit spending was necessary to help boost the economy when unemployment is hovering around 10 percent. But he said that red ink must be stopped as the economy recovers. During a recovery, private investment will again pick up and compete with the federal government for capital.[13]


  • Orszag, Peter (July 9, 2008). "Climate Change Economics". Washington Post: p. A15. Retrieved 2009-04-05. 
  • Orszag, Peter, et al. American Economic Policy in the 1990s (MIT Press: 2002)
  • Orszag, Peter, et al. Protecting the American Homeland: A Preliminary Analysis (Brookings Institution Press: 2002)
  • Orszag, Peter, et al. Saving Social Security: A Balanced Approach (Brookings Institution Press: 2004)
  • Orszag, Peter, et al. Protecting the Homeland 2006/7 (Brookings Institution Press: 2006)
  • Orszag, Peter, et al. Aging Gracefully: Ideas to Improve Retirement Security in America (Century Foundation Press: 2006)
  • Orszag, Peter. 1999. Administrative Costs in Individual Accounts in the United Kingdom. Washington, DC: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
  • "Implications of the New Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Risk-Based Capital Standard" (March).Fannie Mae Papers 1, no. 2 (March 2002)
  • Orszag, Peter R. (October 1, 2008). "CBO's Analysis of Dodd Substitute Amendment for H.R. 1424" (PDF). Congressional Budget Office. pp. 2. Retrieved 2008-10-03. 
  • Orszag, Peter and Joseph E. Stiglitz. "Rethinking Pension Reform: Ten Myths about Social Security Systems." In Robert Holzman and Joseph Stiglitz, eds., New Ideas about Old Age Security. (The World Bank: 2001).
  • Orszag, Peter, J. Michael Orszag. "The Benefits of Flexible Funding: Implications for Pension Reform in an Uncertain World." In Annual Bank Conference on Development Economics. (The World Bank: 2001).


  1. ^ Kantor, Jodi (2009-03-28). "Obama’s Man on the Budget - Just 40 and Going Like 60". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-06-15. 
  2. ^ Created by David Wallechinsky. "AllGov - Officials - Orszag, Peter". Retrieved 2008-11-26. 
  3. ^ a b Connolly, Ceci (26 November 2008). "Orszag Will Be Director of OMB: Position Expected to Have Broader Role". The Washington Post: p. A3. Retrieved 2008-11-27. 
  4. ^ Calmes, Jackie (November 18, 2008). "The New Team: Peter R. Orszag". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-11-25. 
  5. ^ "WEDDINGS: Cameron Hamill and Peter Orszag". New York Times. 1997-08-31. Retrieved 2010-01-09. 
  6. ^ Mark Leibovich (2010-01-10). "If Peter Orszag Is So Smart, What Will He Do Now?". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-01-09. 
  7. ^ "Peter Orszag, just engaged, acknowledges new baby with ex-girlfriend Claire Milonas". Washington Post. 2010-01-06. Retrieved 2010-01-09. 
  8. ^ Tapper, Jake (March 4, 2009). "Attention Orszag Groupies". Political Punch (blog). ABC News. Retrieved 2009-04-18. 
  9. ^ "Implications of the New Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Risk-Based Capital Standard". Fannie Mae. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  10. ^ a b Klein, Ezra (January 14, 2009). "The Number-Cruncher-in-Chief". The American Prospect. Retrieved January 14, 2009. 
  11. ^ Eggen, Dan; Michael A. Fletcher (November 26, 2008). "Obama Offers Recovery Proposals: He Announces Two More Officials On Economic Team". Washington Post: p. A03. Retrieved 2009-04-18. "Obama named Peter R. Orszag as director of the Office of Management and Budget, the arm of the White House responsible for crafting the federal budget and overseeing the effectiveness of federal programs." 
  12. ^ Orszag, Peter R.. "Life is a series of hellos and goodbyes: A final blog entry". Director’s Blog » Blog Archive ». Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved 2009-04-18. 
  13. ^ [1]

External links



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