Jeffrey Zients to Become Acting Director of OMB

President Obama has named Jeffrey Zients (pronounced ZIE-intz, like "science" with a Z) to become acting director of the Office of Management and Budget.

In the ongoing game of White House musical chairs, Zients takes over for Jack Lew, who has been named Obama's new chief of staff, replacing the departing William Daley.

"I'm pleased to designate Jeff Zients to lead the Office of Management and Budget. Since day one, Jeff has demonstrated superb judgment and has provided sound advice on a whole host of issues," Obama said in a written statement. "With decades of experience, Jeff has been a tremendous asset to our team and I'm confident in his ability to help us rebuild an economy where hard work and responsibility pay off and the middle-class has a chance to get ahead."

This will be Zients' second tour as acting director; he previously served in the role from July to November 2010.

Currently the OMB's deputy director for management, Zients takes over as acting director at a pivotal time, just  as formulating the FY 2013 budget is getting under way. The White House had previously said that Lew would not take on his new role as chief of staff until the budget was finished. Daley is set to leave the White House after the State of the Union address at the end of the month.