US President-elect Joe Biden on Wednesday tapped Ron Klain to be his incoming chief of staff, elevating his longtime aide to one of the most powerful positions in the White House.
Officials said a formal announcement is set for Thursday.
“Ron Klain’s 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 in a statement on Wednesday evening.
Klain was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, to Jewish parents, and received his B.A. degree summa cum laude from Georgetown University in 1983. In 1987, he received his J.D. degree magna cum laude from Harvard Law School.
He served as Biden's chief of staff during the opening years of his vice presidency and has been seen as the top prospect for the critical job as gatekeeper to the president.
Klain also served as White House Ebola response coordinator in 2014 and has taken considerable interest in the response to the coronavirus pandemic, which is a central priority for the incoming Biden administration. On Monday, Biden announced a 12-member task force to deal with the pandemic.
Klain was particularly critical of President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. A video of him lecturing Trump about the pandemic was widely seen during the campaign, noted The New York Times.
The President-elect is also narrowing in on selecting the rest of his senior team of West Wing advisers, CNN has learned, with some announcements also possible before the end of the week, followed by others in weeks to come.
Biden does not expect to make any announcements on Cabinet nominations until after Thanksgiving, he has said, with advisers adding that "early December" is the target date.