The Washington Post reported today, Sunday, January 22, that Jeff Zients will succeed Ron Klein as Chief of Staff of the White House under US President Joe Biden. Klein is expected to leave in the coming weeks, according to four people familiar with the decision who told The Washington Post.
Zients left the White House in April after directing the administration’s response to the pandemic and leading the largest vaccination campaign in US history, and returned to the White House in the fall to help Klein prepare for a personnel turnover after the midterm elections, a project that was ultimately limited in scope, as few left. Senior management staff.
But in recent weeks, Klein has assigned him to various projects that some see as preparing Zenits for the top role, said people familiar with the arrangement, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Zients will take over the top job as Biden enters a new and difficult period of his presidency, as Republicans have already unleashed a barrage of investigations into the administration and business dealings of the president’s son.
And Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a special counsel to investigate the handling of classified documents that were found in Biden’s personal office and home in Wilmington, Delaware. Biden is also preparing to launch his re-election bid campaign.
Zients comes to the job with a very different profile than Klein, whose first government job was during the Obama administration, and he has spent most of his career in the private sector.
But colleagues hail Zients as a master mentor who can engender deep loyalty in the people he oversees.--
Born in Washington, Zients, 56, attended St Albans School before graduating from Duke University. He first entered government during the Obama administration, and ended up in several senior positions, including running the Office of Management and Budget and the National Economic Council.-
He earned a reputation as Mr. Fix-It for his solid operational skills, including helping to fix the troubled rollout of the Obama administration’s healthcare site.
After leaving the Obama administration, Zients ran a private equity firm and spent two years on the Facebook board, an experience that drew criticism from liberals.
During Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign, Zients was brought in to help with campaign finances during a particularly difficult period, then co-chaired Biden’s transition to the White House before leading the administration’s response to the coronavirus.
And in leading efforts to combat the pandemic, he has taken on one of the president’s most challenging and critical tasks: overseeing early efforts to vaccinate the American public and adapt to new, highly contagious variants.
And when Zients left the White House, Biden hailed him as “a man of service and an experienced manager.” “I have asked Jeff Zients to lead my administration’s response to COVID-19 because there is no one better at getting results than Jeff,” Biden said in a statement at the time.