Biden picks long-time aide Ron Klain as chief of staff

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U.S. President elect Joe Biden on Wednesday named long-time aide Ron Klain as his White House chief of staff.

Klain played a leading role during the economic and public health crises of the Obama administration when Joe Biden was vice president.

White House chief of staff is one of the most powerful jobs in Washington DC, as the person is the gatekeeper for the president, deciding who gets to speak with him and does not.

“Today, President-elect Joe Biden announced the appointment of Ron Klain as White House Chief of Staff and Assistant to the President. A longtime aide to the president-elect, Klain will oversee the Executive Office of the President and serve as a senior advisor,” the Biden transition team said in a statement.

In addition to supporting the president-elect, Klain will work to build a diverse, experienced and talented team to help President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris meet the urgent challenges facing the country, the statement said.

“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 President-elect Joe 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.”

Ron Klain said he was honored for the appointment.

“It’s the honor 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 was most recently a Senior Advisor to the Biden for President campaign and has previously served the president-elect 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 that public health crisis.

Ron Klain Biography:

Ron Klain served as the president-elect’s first Chief of Staff when he became Vice President (2009-11); Chief Counsel of the Senate Judiciary Committee during the president-elect’s 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 President-elect Biden’s 1988 and 2008 Presidential campaigns.

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, President 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 Counselor 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.

Prior to joining the Biden for President campaign, Klain was Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Revolution LLC. In 2005, prior to joining Revolution, Klain spent four years as a partner and National Practice Group Chair at O’Melveny & Myers. Klain began his legal career as a law clerk to Justice Byron White, for the Supreme Court’s 1987 and 1988 Terms. He was also General Counsel for the Gore Recount Committee in 2000.

Serving as an advisor on several Presidential campaigns, Klain has worked for Presidents Obama and Clinton, and Democratic Presidential nominees Al Gore, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden. Ron Klain graduated summa cum laude 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. Klain is married to Monica Medina and they have three grown children.

Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Based in Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America, Simon leads a brilliant team of reporters, freelance journalists, analysts, researchers and contributors from around the world to run TODAY NEWS AFRICA as editor-in-chief. Simon Ateba's journalistic experience spans over 10 years and covers many beats, including business and investment, information technology, politics, diplomacy, human rights, science reporting and much more. Write him: simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

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