President-elect Joe Biden tapped longtime aide Ron Klain as his chief of staff, The New York Times reports.
Klain served as Biden’s chief of staff when he was vice president and led the White House Ebola response 2014. He was also a key adviser to the Obama administration on the 2009 economic recovery.
Biden called Klain an “invaluable” adviser.
“His deep, varied experience and capacity to work with people all across the political spectrum is precisely what I need in a White House chief of staff as we confront this moment of crisis and bring our country together again,” he said in a statement.
Klain said he looked forward to building “a talented and diverse team to work in the White House as we tackle their ambitious agenda for change and seek to heal the divides in our country.”
Klain and Biden go back decades:
Klain, 59, clerked for Supreme Court Justice Byron White before spending much of the last three decades at Biden’s side.
He first worked for Biden in the 1980s when Biden was a senator from Delaware and eventually became the chief counsel of the Senate Judiciary Committee while Biden was chairman.
Klain later went on to serve as the chief of staff to then-Vice President Al Gore and later oversaw Gore’s recount effort.
He later returned to the White House once Obama and Biden were elected.
Biden has relied on Klain’s advice to build out his pandemic plan.
Progressive back pick:
Klain has worked as a lobbyist and as a private lawyer along with his decades in Washington. But progressives appeared satisfied with Biden’s pick after other rumored candidates, like former Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, drew forceful rebukes.
“Klain is a superb choice for Chief of Staff,” said Sen. Elizabeth Warren. “He understands the magnitude of the health and economic crisis and he has the experience to lead this next administration through it. Ron has earned trust all across the entire Democratic Party.”