Rob Nabors

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Rob Nabors
Rob Nabors 2011.jpg
White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy
In office
January 25, 2013 – April 2, 2015
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Nancy-Ann DeParle
White House Director of Legislative Affairs
In office
January 2011 – January 25, 2013
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Phil Schiliro
Succeeded by Miguel Rodriguez
Personal details
Born 1971 (age 50–51)
Fort Dix, New Jersey, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Alma mater University of Notre Dame
University of North Carolina,
Chapel Hill

Rob Nabors (born 1971) is the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.[1] He previously served as White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy and several other senior roles in the Obama White House.[2]

Early life and education

He was born in Fort Dix, New Jersey and lived in Arizona, Maryland, Germany, Virginia, South Korea, Florida, Italy, Massachusetts in his youth. He received a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame in 1993 and an M.A. from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 1996.[3]

Clinton Administration

Nabors first joined the Office of Management and Budget, straight out of graduate school, as a program examiner in 1996. Assigned to the Bureau's commerce branch, he was given responsibility for the decennial census, and while he was working on that task, he was recognized as a "budding wunderkind" by OMB Director Jack Lew, who promoted him to special assistant to the director in 1998. In 2000, he was further promoted to assistant director for administration and executive secretary.[3]

Congressional staff

Nabors joined the minority staff of the powerful House Appropriations Committee at the end of the Clinton Administration. Appropriations Chair Dave Obey promoted him to minority staff director in 2004. When the Democrats won the House in 2006, Nabors became majority staff director. "'He was just the best man for the job,' says Appropriations Committee Chairman Dave Obey, 'and he understands the House, he understands the committee, he understands the town, he understands the bureaucracy, and he doesn’t take any crap from anybody. His demeanor is very nice and very cool, but he doesn’t take any crap from people.'"[3] Nabors said it was his job not just to "recite" budget numbers but to "own the information" and understand the human meanings behind the numbers.[3]

Obama Administration

Nabors' selection as Deputy Director of OMB, along with the selection of Peter Orszag as Director of OMB, was announced by President-Elect Barack Obama on November 25, 2008.[2]

In February 2010 Nabors, became senior advisor to then-White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. Jeff Liebman replaced Nabors as Acting Deputy Director at OMB. In January 2011 it was announced that Nabors had succeeded Phil Schiliro as the head of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs.[4] Nabors' tenure as Director of Legislative Affairs was characterized by difficult and contentious negotiations with the new Republican House Majority in the 112th Congress, most vividly on display in the debt-ceiling crisis of 2011. The stand-off eventually produced the compromise Budget Control Act of 2011, which resulted in the budget sequester in 2013.

In November 2011, Nabors was included on The New Republic's list of Washington's most powerful, least famous people.[5]

At the start of President Obama's second term, Nabors was named White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy, alongside the new Chief of Staff Denis McDonough.[6] In May 2014, in response to the Veterans Health Administration scandal, the President dispatched Nabors to oversee a review of practices at the Veterans Administration.[7] Emails released by the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs show that Nabors pressured the IG to downplay the link between extended waiting times and veteran deaths.[8]

In 2016 he was appointed Director of Policy and Government Affairs covering the U.S., Canada and Asia Pacific at the Gates Foundation. He will assume his new position on January 19, 2016.


  1. "Nabors promoted to VA chief of staff". Federal News Radio. 2015-04-01. Retrieved 2015-07-21.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 Fletcher, Michael A.; Eggen, Dan (2008-11-25). "Obama Names OMB Director". Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-11-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Rob Nabors: Approps staffer sees beyond the numbers Libit, Daniel. Accessed November 25, 2008.
  4. Daley, Bill (2011-01-27). "Full text of Bill Daley's announcement". Retrieved 2011-01-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. The Editors (2011-11-03). "Washington's Most Powerful, Least Famous People". The New Republic. Retrieved 2011-10-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Obama Reaches Out, but Not Very Far, to Build New Team". The New York Times. 2013-01-25. Retrieved 2014-10-28.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "In wake of allegations, Obama dispatches close adviser to oversee review of VA". The Washington Post. 2014-05-14. Retrieved 2014-10-28.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "E-mails: VA secretary sought changes in Phoenix report". Arizona Times. 2014-05-14. Retrieved 2014-11-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
Political offices
Preceded by
Nancy-Ann DeParle
White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy