Jacob "Jack" Lew is a prominent and religiously observant American Jewish civil servant.
Lew currently serves as President Barak Obama's Chief of Staff and in January 2013, became his nominee for the U.S. Treasury Secretary; and Lew formerly directed the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Lew was born on August 29, 1955 and grew up in New York City, where he went to school through high school graduation. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1978 and received his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in 1983. Lew practiced law for a number of years following graduation and then re-entered civil service life in February 1993 when he was tasked as a Special Assistant to President Bill Clinton. Lew's primary responsibilities in that role included policy development and the drafting of the national service initiative (AmeriCorps), as well as health care reform legislation.
After leaving Clinton's White House for a number of years, Lew was nominated and confirmed as Director of the OMB in 1998. From 1998 to 2001, he led the Clinton Administration's budget team and served as a member of the National Security Council. During his tenure at OMB, the U.S. budget operated at a surplus for three consecutive years.
From 2001 to 2006, Lew was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of New York University (NYU), where he was responsible for budget, finance, and operations. He also taught public administration at NYU. From 2004 through 2008, Lew served on the Corporation for National and Community Service Board and chaired its Management, Administration, and Governance Committee. He was managing director and chief operating officer of Citi Alternative Investments (CAI) until January 2009. At CAI, he was responsible for operations, technology, finance, human resources, legal and regional coordination; chaired the CAI Operating Committee; and served as a member of the CAI Management Committee. Prior to joining CAI in January 2008, he was managing director and chief operating officer of Citi Global Wealth Management.
Before joining the Obama Administration, Lew co-chaired the Advisory Board for City Year New York and was a member of the boards of the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the Brookings Institution Hamilton Project, and the Tobin Project. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the National Academy of Social Insurance, and of the bar in Massachusetts and the District of Columbia.
After President Obama was elected in November 2008, Lew decided to return to government work in Washington. In January 2009, President Obama appointed Lew as Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, where he would serve as Chief Operating Officer of the Department and as alter ego to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In November 2010, the Senate unanimously confirmed Lew for his new appointment from President Obama - Director of the OMB, following Peter Orszag's resignation. On January 9, 2012, President Obama announced that Lew would replace Bill Daley as White House Chief of Staff. Lew is among at least nine Jews currently serving in the upper echelons of the Obama Administration.
In early January 2013, President Obama nominated Jack Lew to serve as the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury to follow in Timothy Geithner, who was Treasury Secretary during President Obama's first term. On February 27, 2013, the Senate confirmed Lew in a vote of 71 to 26.