search

Biden expected to tap Jeff Zients as new chief of staff after Ron Klain leaves

Jeff Zients served as COVID response coordinator at beginning of Biden’s term but has since worked in a low-profile post on staffing matters

Then-White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients removes a face mask, as he prepares to speak at a press briefing at the White House, April 13, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
Then-White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients removes a face mask, as he prepares to speak at a press briefing at the White House, April 13, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — US President Joe Biden is expected to name Jeff Zients, who ran the administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic at the start of Biden’s term, as his next chief of staff, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Biden’s current top aide, Ron Klain, is preparing to leave the job in the coming weeks.

Since serving as COVID-19 response coordinator, Zients returned to the White House in a low-profile position to work on staffing matters.

The two people familiar with the matter were not authorized to publicly discuss Biden’s plans before an official announcement and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The Washington Post first reported on Zients’ expected appointment. The White House did not respond to requests for comment.

Zients, vice chairman of Biden’s transition operation after his November 2020 election, brings significant managerial expertise in government and the private sector. He was the director of the National Economic Council during the Obama administration and acting director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Jeff Zients, then Biden’s COVID-19 response coordinator, speaks during an event at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Delaware, December 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

He became known for leading that administration’s effort to repair HealthCare.gov after the bungled initial rollout of the site in the fall of 2013. Zients also was a top executive at the Advisory Board Company, a Washington consulting firm.

Zients and his deputy on the White House’s pandemic response team, Natalie Quillian, left the Biden administration last April. Biden thanked him for “stunning” and “consequential” progress battling the pandemic.

“When Jeff took this job, less than 1% of Americans were fully vaccinated; fewer than half our schools were open; and unlike much of the developed world, America lacked any at-home COVID tests,” Biden said when the White House announced Zients’ departure. “Today, almost 80 percent of adults are fully vaccinated; over 100 million are boosted; virtually every school is open; and hundreds of millions of at-home tests are distributed every month.”

read more:
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed
image
Register for free
and continue reading
Registering also lets you comment on articles and helps us improve your experience. It takes just a few seconds.
Already registered? Enter your email to sign in.
Please use the following structure: example@domain.com
Or Continue with
By registering you agree to the terms and conditions. Once registered, you’ll receive our Daily Edition email for free.
Register to continue
Or Continue with
Log in to continue
Sign in or Register
Or Continue with
check your email
Check your email
We sent an email to you at .
It has a link that will sign you in.