If things had gone differently, Jeffrey D. Zients this week might have been worrying about the Washington Nationals’ batting order. Instead — just as he’s starting to think about reorganizing dozens of federal agencies — he’s preparing for a government shutdown.
Zients, who grew up in the area and helped bring Major League Baseball back to the District, is the nation’s first chief performance officer and deputy director of management at the Office of Management and Budget. That means he’s the guy responsible for ensuring that federal agencies and departments are ready to shut down this weekend, if they must.
It’s been a rough few weeks packed with meetings and conference calls to instruct department secretaries and chiefs of staff how to cease operations. He’s also dealt with leaders of unions representing federal workers upset about the slow release of information about the fate of employees should the government close.