The Biden White House is rumored to have been in talks with former COVID-19 response leader Jeff Zients as the president’s next Chief of Staff in the next few weeks when Ron Klain leaves the role.
The Washington Post first broke the news of the potential new appointment, but the White House has not yet publicly commented on the topic. Zients is relatively unknown to the public and has limited political experience, having mostly worked in the private sector. He headed the Biden administration’s coronavirus response and vaccine rollout before leaving the White House in April last year. In the interim, he has returned to the Oval Office frequently in an advisory capacity.
Klain notified his colleagues of his departure via an email obtained by the Associated Press, telling them, “Although much work remains ahead, as we look back on these two years, I am awestruck at what this team has done and how you have done it.” Klain is also rumored to have been giving Zients some assignments in recent weeks to prepare him for the role.
Zients previously served in the White House under the Obama administration as Chief Performance Officer. He was also acting director of the Office of Management and Budget in 2012, where he played a key role in smoothing out the rollout of the Affordable Care Act’s website. Klain is expected to leave the White House after next month’s State of the Union address, and will mark the first major turnover of a position in the Biden administration.
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: LUKE MOCHERMAN
PHOTO CREDIT: CNBC
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