After much speculation, President-elect Joe Biden has picked his long time aide Ron Klain as his White House chief of staff, the Biden transition team announced late Wednesday night.
Biden taps his long-time aide for one of the most powerful positions in the White House as he gets ready to be sworn into office in January. Klain served as chief of staff to Vice President Al Gore during the Clinton administration and for Biden during his time as President Barack Obama’s vice president.
“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. “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.”
Klain will bring experience to the post as the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is already spiking in 45 of the 50 states. The Democratic operative was appointed by then-President Barack Obama to lead the response to the Ebola crisis in 2014, something Biden is hoping he can do for him this time around.
Klain has been vocal about his displeasure to President Donald Trump’s response to handling the virus and has been a contributor for MSNBC.
“It’s the honor of a lifetime to serve President-elect Biden in this role, and I am humbled by his confidence,” Klain said in a statement. “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 graduated from Harvard Law School in 1987 and clerked for Supreme Court Justice Byron R. White before being appointed by then-Sen. Biden to serve as chief counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee from 1989 to 1992.