Who Is Neera Tanden?

President Joe Biden nominated Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, as director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The nomination, made in November 2020, was withdrawn by Tanden in March 2021.

Neera Tanden

Investopedia / Alison Czinkota

As head of the OMB, Tanden would have been a member of President Biden's cabinet and would have been responsible for overseeing budgetary issues across the executive branch. The OMB is responsible for White House budget development, execution, and management, as well as coordination and review of federal regulations and other policies.

A Democrat, Tanden is president and CEO of the Center for American Progress, an independent policy institute. She also serves as CEO of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Prior to these positions, Tanden was senior adviser for health reform at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where she worked on key provisions in President Barack Obama's landmark legislation, the Affordable Care Act. Before that, Tanden was director of domestic policy for the Obama-Biden presidential campaign and policy director for Hillary Clinton’s first presidential campaign.

Though recognized as experienced, Tanden is a polarizing figure for many on both sides of the political aisle. She has been criticized for making what some see as inappropriate personal attacks on political rivals on social media. Additionally, politicians including Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont have questioned the major corporate donations Tanden has made to the Center for American Progress during her leadership of the organization.

Early Career and Education

Tanden began her career as an associate director for domestic policy in President Clinton's White House, where she was also a senior policy advisor to the first lady. Tanden holds a bachelors degree from the University of California, Los Angeles and a law degree from Yale Law School.

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  1. The White House. "Statement by President Joe Biden and Nominee for Director of the Office of Management Neera Tanden." Accessed March 3, 2021.

  2. Washington Post. "Neera Tanden, Biden's pick for OMB director, draws GOP criticism." Accessed Feb. 17, 2021.

  3. The White House. "Office of Management and Budget." Accessed Feb. 16, 2021.

  4. Center for American Progress. "Neera Tanden - Center for American Progress." Accessed Feb. 16, 2021.

  5. New York Times. "Neera Tanden Grilled Again Over Statements, This Time By Bernie Sanders." Accessed Feb. 16, 2021.