Former Vice President Joe Biden announced on Wednesday that he had chosen Ron Klain as his incoming White House chief of staff.
Biden, who has been declared president-elect by multiple media outlets, is tasking Klain to lead the executive office of the president. Klain will also serve as a senior adviser to Biden and will help staff the incoming administration.
“Ron has been invaluable to me over the many years that we have worked together, including as we rescued the American economy from one of the worst downturns in our history in 2009 and later overcame a daunting public health emergency in 2014,” Biden said in a statement announcing the appointment.
Klain, who helped advise the former vice president’s recent 2020 campaign, has longstanding ties to Biden. Between 1989 and 1992, Klain was the chief counsel to the United States Senate Judiciary Committee, then chaired by Senator-Joe Biden.
When President Bill Clinton was elected in 1992, Klain joined the White House as an associate counsel. As part of the role, Klain helped usher Clinton’s judicial nominations through the Senate, including that of Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the Supreme Court. After a brief stint with then-Attorney General Janet Reno, Klain was tapped in 1995 to be chief of staff to Vice President Al Gore.
Klain worked briefly on Gore’s losing 2000 presidential campaign before becoming a lobbyist for the mortgage giant Fannie Mae. Klain left that role in 2005 when he began advising Biden’s failed 2008’s White House bid on policy issues. When Biden became vice president in January 2009, Klain moved back into the executive branch as his chief of staff.
In 2014, Klain was tapped to lead the Obama administration’s response to the Ebola virus, despite having no background in public health.
Despite his longstanding ties to Biden, Klain opted to back former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the 2016 Democratic nomination. According to Politico, Klain made the decision at a time when Biden was actively considering the race himself.
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