Peter Orszag ’91, director of the Office of Management and Budget, ranked No. 5 on GQ’s list of the most powerful people in Washington, D.C., published last week. (Other Princeton alumni on the list include Robert Mueller ’66, No. 19; Richard Holbrooke *70, No. 21; and Edward Yingling ’70, No. 24). The reason for Orszag’s high ranking, according to GQ: “For every must-have on Obama’s domestic agenda — cap and trade, saner immigration policies, educational reform — the pressure’s on Orszag to make sure it can’t be branded as, er, ‘socialism.’ ” The respect Orszag built while head of the Congressional Budget Office, the magazine added, has made him “extremely influential with centrists” in Congress.
This month, Orszag has been trying to wield a different sort of influence around Washington. The avid runner lauched the OMB Pedometer Challenge, an effort to help his co-workers in the federal government burn off extra calories. Federal employees who volunteer to wear pedometers and out-step the OMB director have a chance to win prizes, including free lunches and a “happy healthy hour” for the winning team. “When you measure something and have a competition surrounding it,” Orszag explained in a White House video, “it creates a strong incentive to do more of it.” Better health, he added, may be the “ultimate prize.”
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