Udayavni Special

President-elect Joe Biden names Ron Klain as White House Chief of Staff


PTI, Nov 12, 2020, 2:30 PM IST

Washington: US President-elect Joe Biden has tapped veteran political operative Ron Klain as Chief of Staff, elevating his ‘invaluable’ longtime aide to one of the most powerful positions in the White House.

The White House Chief of Staff manages the president’s daily schedule. He is often described as the president’s gatekeeper.

In addition to supporting the president-elect, Klain, 59, will work to build a diverse, experienced and talented team to help Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris meet the urgent challenges facing the country, the Biden transion office said in a media release on Wednesday.

‘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,’ said Biden.

‘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,” Biden said as the Democrat stepped up efforts to establish his own White House team though President Donald Trump, his Republican rival in the November 3 election has refused to concede.

Klain was most recently a senior advisor to the Biden for President campaign and has previously served Biden in a number of roles including as his Chief of Staff when he became Vice President.

Klain is also known for his role as the White House Ebola Response Coordinator at the height of the public health crisis in 2014.

The incoming Biden administration is facing the daunting task of combating the COVID-19 pandemic which has not only devastated the US economy but has also killed over 241,000 people and infected more than 10,400,000.

Klain said, ‘It’s the honour of a lifetime to serve President-elect Biden in this role, and I am humbled by his confidence. I look forward to helping him and the Vice President-elect assemble 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 served as Biden’s first Chief of Staff when he became Vice President (2009-11); Chief Counsel of the Senate Judiciary Committee during his tenure as Chair of the Committee (1989-92); and Policy Advisor on the Judiciary Committee staff (1986-87). Klain also worked as an advisor on Biden’s 1988 and 2008 presidential campaigns.

According to the Biden-Harris Transition, Klain has devoted many years to public service, serving as White House Ebola Response Coordinator (2014-15).

At the conclusion of his work coordinating the US response, then President Barack Obama said that Klain had taken on “a challenge that many called insurmountable, and, in leading the team responsible for tremendous progress, helped remind the world what makes America exceptional.”

Earlier, in addition to his work with then-Vice President Biden, Klain served as Chief of Staff for Vice President Al Gore, Chief of Staff and Counsellor to Attorney General Janet Reno, and Staff Director of the Senate Democratic Leadership Committee.

Klain was also Associate Counsel to President Clinton and in charge of judicial selection. Through his work on the Judiciary Committee, and in the Executive Branch, he has played a role in the selection or confirmation of eight Supreme Court Justices.

Serving as an advisor on several Presidential campaigns, Klain has worked for President Obama and President Clinton, and Democratic presidential nominees Al Gore, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton.

Klain graduated from Harvard Law School, was an Editor of the Harvard Law Review, and won the Sears Prize for highest grade average in 1985. He was a summa cum laude graduate of Georgetown University, where he serves an Adjunct Professor.

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