Washington: US President-elect Joe Biden on Wednesday announced he has chosen Ron Klain, a seasoned Democratic operative, as his chief of staff, his first public White House personnel choice.
“Ron has been invaluable to me over the many years that we have worked together,” Biden said in a statement on the 59-year-old who served as chief of staff for Biden when he was vice president.
“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.
Klain served as Biden's chief of staff when he was vice-president under President Barack Obama and had been widely expected to be named to the post.
He also has experience battling a public health crisis, as he worked as Obama's "Ebola Czar" in 2014 during an outbreak of that virus in Africa. A fierce critic of Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, Klain is expected to be a key figure in Biden's response to the health crisis.
In Klain, Biden brings in a trusted and experienced operative who also served as Vice-President Al Gore's top aide during Bill Clinton's administration. He served as an outside adviser to Biden during the campaign and the two have a relationship dating back to Biden's years as a U.S. senator from Delaware.
As Biden's chief of staff during the 2008-2009 financial crisis, Klain helped oversee the implementation of the $787 billion Recovery Act that boosted the cratering economy.
In 2014, he earned plaudits from public health experts as the government's Ebola response coordinator.
"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."