At a Glance
- Career History:
Deputy assistant director for health and human resources, Budget Analysis Division, Congressional Budget Office, (2007 to 2009); Director, Health Financing Branch,
Office of Management and Budget
, (2001 to 2007); Assistant deputy comissioner for policy, Social Security Administration (1998 to 2001)
- Alma Mater: Old Dominion, B.A. ; Duke University, M.P.P., 1982
- Office: The Office of Management and Budget725 17th Street, NWWashington, DC 20503(202)395-3080
- Web site
Path to Power
Fontenot received his B.A. from the Old Dominion University. He went on to earn a master's degree from Duke University's Sanford Institute of Public Policy in 1982.
Fontenot began his career at OMB in 1982, when he became a budget examiner for Social Security and other retirement programs.
Running all things health-related for the OMB, Fontenot oversees the finances of crucial agencies including the Food and Drug Administration, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the National Institutes of Health.
Fontenot holds the purse strings of agencies that are likely to be under the microscope during the first years of the Obama administration. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for instance, led by Thomas Frieden, could get extra firepower because of fears of global pandemics similar to the H1N1 or "swine flu" pandemic in 2009. The Food and Drug Administration, helmed by Margaret Hamburg, has been criticized since a series of food-borne illness outbreaks exposed holes in its monitoring systems, and could also be ripe for a major overhaul.
Fontenot was hired away to the Congressional Budget Office by his former boss, OMB director Peter Orszag. He also worked on health-care reform with OMB special adviser Ezekiel Emanuel and OMB Executive Associate Director Jeffrey Liebman.
The White House health-care team included health czar Nancy-Ann DeParle and regulation czar Cass R. Sunstein. Fontenot worked under Leon Panetta when he was OMB director from 1993 to 1994. Panetta is now Obama's director of the CIA.