Former Obama administration official Jeff Zients is reportedly a likely replacement for Ron Klain as President Biden’s chief of staff.
Politico, citing three unnamed sources, reported Sunday that Zients, a close Biden confidant who ran the White House’s COVID-19 response, is widely expected to step into the role.
Klain, 61, is believed to be stepping down from the job, and has apparently been saying he’s been ready to leave since the 2022 midterms.
Zients, 56, would step in as Biden is marred by scandal over classified documents found at the Biden family’s personal residence. On Saturday, a lawyer for Biden announced federal investigators had found more classified docs — some dating back to Biden’s long Senate tenure.
There is no apparent connection between Klain’s impeding departure and the classified docs scandal.
The chief of staff shake-up is a high-profile departure for Biden, whose staff has remained somewhat constant compared with that of Vice President Kamala Harris. The veep has seen at least 25 staff members leave over the past two years
Klain and his likely successor have remained close for the past several years, Politico reported, with Biden considering Zients a “master implementer.”
Zients was the director of the National Economic Council from 2014 to January 2017, when former President Donald Trump assumed office. He was also the acting director of the Office of Management and Budget in 2010 and again from 2012 to 2013.
The soon-to-be chief of staff has close ties to Big Tech, and has served as a member of Facebook’s board of directors from 2018 to 2020.
Zients became Biden’s director of the White House COVID response on Inauguration Day, succeeding scandal-ridden Dr. Deborah Birx. He also held the role of Counselor to the President until April 2022.