WH Coronavirus Response Coordinator to Replace Ron Klain as Chief of Staff

Melanie Arter | January 27, 2023 | 11:02am EST
Text Audio
00:00 00:00
Font Size
Jeff Zients, the White House's Covid-19 response czar (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
Jeff Zients, the White House's Covid-19 response czar (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Jeff Zients will be President Biden’s new chief of staff, replacing Ron Klain, who will step down next week, the White House announced on Friday.

“I’ve seen Jeff Zients tackle some of the toughest issues in government. When I was vice president, I first got to know him at the beginning of the Obama-Biden Administration, working closely on American Recovery and Reinvestment Act implementation as Jeff was a leader at the Office of Management and Budget,” Biden said in a statement on Friday. 

“He was later handed the daunting and complicated task of fixing healthcare.gov, which he did successfully, helping get millions of Americans quality, affordable health insurance. He led the National Economic Council, and shares my focus on strengthening our economy to work for everyone. He helped manage our Administration’s transition into office under incredibly trying circumstances,” the president said.

“Thanks to Jeff, we had a historically diverse team in place on Day 1 ready to go to work. And he led our COVID response, a massive logistical undertaking of historic proportions. When I ran for office, I promised to make government work for the American people. That’s what Jeff does. A big task ahead is now implementing the laws we’ve gotten passed efficiently and fairly,” he said.

“I’m confident that Jeff will continue Ron’s example of smart, steady leadership, as we continue to work hard every day for the people we were sent here to serve. I am grateful for his service and that of his family – his wife Mary and their children – for making this commitment with him.
Next week, the White House will host an official transition event to thank Ron for his tireless work and officially welcome Jeff back to the White House in this role,” Biden said.

The president described outgoing Chief of Staff Ron Klain as “a once-in-a-generation talent with a fierce and brilliant intellect,” and he “has a really big heart.”

“He is as tough, smart, determined, and persistent as anyone I have ever met. He assembled the most diverse and the most talented White House team in history and leaned on them to solve impossible challenges,” Biden said.

“Working together, we have made incredible progress fighting COVID, reviving our economy, rebuilding our infrastructure, and winning the confirmation of almost 100 federal judges, including the first Black woman on the United States Supreme Court. We have taken big steps to tackle climate change, advance civil rights, and address student debt,” he said.

“We’ve been reasserting America’s place in the world, and maybe most important of all – restoring faith in our democracy. This progress will be the legacy of this White House team, working under Ron’s leadership. And while we have accomplished an extraordinary amount, the real mark of Ron’s success is that he is beloved by the team he leads here at the White House. They’re going to miss him just as much as I will,” the president said.

mrc merch