Deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget under Carter, Cutter for many years was a senior partner at Coopers & Lybrand, a large consulting firm.
He came back to government, he says, because he couldn't get policy out of his blood.
Now, according to Administration insiders, Cutter is taking the lead for the White House on a broad range of policy issues--most notably, by helping to coordinate a review of long-range U.S. policy towards Japan.
"Though not the director of OMB, Cutter clearly was the one person that President Carter relied on for information about the budget during his term in the White House," Bosworth recalled.
"He's a very nice person to work with . . . very conscientious and tolerant of various economic views," Bosworth said.
Tolerance will be particularly important in Cutter's new job, because the National Economic Council has been charged by Clinton with overseeing all economic policy decisions.
"If the NEC is to be the Administration's economic coordinator, then it needs an honest broker and Cutter is good at that," one former colleague says.
"He's not going to be pushing his own agenda, so people on both sides of an issue can trust him."