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Porch & Parish

Shalanda Young: A Beacon of Bipartisanship in Washington's OMB Leadership

Feb 15, 2024 03:46PM ● By Lauren Pope
In the labyrinth of Washington D.C., where consensus is as rare as a straightforward answer, the confirmation of Scotlandville Magnet, Loyola and Tulane graduate Shalanda Young as the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) stands as a testament to the power of respect, expertise, and bipartisan cooperation. Confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 61-36, Young's appointment is a shining example of political unity in action. And as the first Black woman to hold this esteemed position in a federal agency, Young has made history not just for women of color, but for all Louisiana young scholars who aspire to make a difference. 

The OMB is the largest office within the Executive Office of the President of the United States, and it administers the federal budget, among other responsibilities. Young was picked by President Biden to serve in her role, and sworn in by Vice President Kamala Harris. 

Born in Zachary in 1977 and raised in Clinton, Young learned early the value of engaging with diverse perspectives—a skill that would later become her hallmark in Washington. Speaking with the New York Times she said, "My work on the Appropriations Committee taught me that both sides can compromise without compromising their values—even when that means no one gets everything they want," Ms. Young shared with lawmakers. At the OMB, she aims to leverage her extensive experience to foster an atmosphere of mutual respect and to work toward solutions that benefit the American people.

Before her historic confirmation, Young's tenure on the House Appropriations Committee solidified her reputation as a trusted and competent figure among lawmakers from both sides of the aisle.

"Shalanda Young's confirmation, backed by strong bipartisan support, is a nod to her years of dedicated service on the House Appropriations Committee staff," remarked Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine, expressing her admiration. "Shalanda is smart, fair, and knowledgeable. I look forward to working closely with her."

Echoing this sentiment, Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy praised Young's contributions, saying, "Shalanda has worked on [appropriations]... Everybody in this place knows her, respects her greatly."

"Shalanda’s blend of intellect, resilience, and amiability sets her apart," noted retired Democratic Congresswoman Nita Lowey. "She's smart. She's tough. You can be sure she'll have the facts."

Former Senate Appropriations Chair Richard Shelby, a Republican from Alabama, highlighted Young's collaborative spirit: "She knows how to bring things together, and that's what we as appropriators try to do," he said. "They’re going to have challenges—a lot of hard work—and they need experienced people."

During her confirmation hearings, Senator Patrick J. Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont and the chairman of the Appropriations Committee, commended Young's ability to navigate through politically charged negotiations. "Ms. Young had already demonstrated her knack for forging bipartisan deals, even in the most toxic of political environments," he said. "It was a difficult time for our nation, but through determination and hard work, we reached a solution—and that’s what Shalanda’s best at."

This article only scratches the surface of Shalanda Young's impressive journey and her role as a unifying force in American politics. We have reached out to her office and are excited to delve deeper into her story in the coming months. Stay tuned for an in-depth look at how Young's leadership at the OMB is shaping the future of bipartisan governance.