President-elect Joe Biden named longtime aide Ron Klain as his White House chief of staff, the first official announced by the transition team since the election.
Klain began working for Biden in the late 1980s while he was in the Senate, and served as his chief of staff when Biden 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 of Klain in a statement Wednesday.
Klain is versed in handling pandemics and received praise for the response he led to the Ebola outbreak in 2014, despite his lack of medical training.
Klain ruffled some feathers when he decided to assist the Clinton campaign in 2016, while Biden was still contemplating a run. However, the two have since cleared the air and Klain left his job in August to serve as an unpaid senior adviser to Biden’s campaign.
Biden’s pick also seems to not alienate more progressive Democrats who have expressed concerns their concerns and viewpoints may not fully be addressed under a Biden administration.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) on Wednesday said Klain is a “superb choice” who had “earned trust all across the entire Democratic Party.”
In a statement, Klain said he looks forward to the remaining White House staff positions to be filled and will work with Biden to “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.”