“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 as we confront this moment of crisis and bring our country together again.”
Klain has been a frequent presence on MSNBC, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, and has been critical of President Donald Trump’s response.
Klain managed the response to the Ebola outbreak from 2014 to 2015. He previously served as chief of staff to Biden when he was vice president and to Al Gore in the second half of President Bill Clinton’s term. He was a key figure in Gore’s efforts to secure a recount of the Florida ballots in the disputed 2000 presidential race (and, in the movie Recount, was played by Kevin Spacey).
In a statement, Klain said, “It’s the honor of a lifetime to serve President-elect Biden in this role, and I am humbled by his confidence. I look forward to helping him and the Vice President-elect 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.”
Klain was senior adviser to the Biden campaign, and led preparation for the presidential debates, as he has for other recent Democratic nominees. He also advised Biden on his 1988 and 2008 presidential campaigns. He began his legal career as a law clerk to Justice Byron White.