The COO’s duties would lie in execution of government policy, including ensuring that the government is well managed and that it addresses key national priorities as one entity and not as hundreds of separate agencies operating in silos.

What are qualifications for this position? The COO should have significant business experience as well as sensitivity to the mechanics of government. That experience would serve him or her well in managing the government’s vast moving parts. Bringing an accomplished business person into the Obama administration would have the added benefit of providing private-side perspective and experience.

The choice of the first COO will be critical for the future of the office, much as the selection of the first president shaped that office for our nation. Fortunately, an ideal candidate comes to mind: New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg. He is a man of well-documented business savvy who has also exhibited an ability to apply private-sector know-how to a diverse government enterprise. He has experience with public budgets and managing private-sector payrolls. His political status as an independent makes him uniquely nonpartisan in an age of vicious factions.