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Prez picks Forest Hills grad

President Barack Obama chose Forest Hills High School graduate Jack Lew to become his next chief of staff. AP Photo/Charles Dharapak
TimesLedger Newspapers

President Barack Obama tapped a Forest Hills High School graduate to be his next chief of staff last week.

Jacob “Jack” Lew, a 1972 alumnus of Forest Hills High School, previously served as head of the federal Office of Management and Budget — the country’s head budget officer.

Lew, 56, will replace outgoing chief of staff William Daley, who served in the post for a year.

“I have every confidence that Jack will make sure that we don’t miss a beat and continue to do everything we can to strengthen our economy and the middle class and keep the American people safe,” Obama said last week from the White House’s State Dining Room.

The White House chief of staff is a senior aide to the president and acts as a gatekeeper, deciding who gets access to the president. He also pushes the president’s agenda to Congress.

Lew’s Forest Hills ties were proudly displayed on the city Department of Education’s Twitter feed.

“Congrats to Jack Lew, Forest Hills High School Class of ’72, new [White House] chief of staff,” the DOE wrote.

Lew previously worked in the OMB under former President Bill Clinton, and Obama noted that Lew was the only budget director in history to preside over budget surpluses for three consecutive years.

“Jack’s economic advice has been invaluable and he has my complete trust, both because of his mastery of the numbers, [and] because of the values behind those numbers,” Obama said. “Ever since he began his career in public as a top aide to [former U.S. House of Representatives] Speaker Tip O’Neill, Jack has fought for America where hard work and responsibility pay off, a place where everybody gets a fair shot, and everybody plays by the same rules. And that belief is reflected in every decision that Jack makes.”

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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