WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden will name Jeff Zients to serve as his next chief of staff, replacing Ron Klain, who is expected to leave in the coming weeks, an administration official and a person told NBC News. familiar with the decision.
Zients, who previously led the Biden administration’s response to Covid-19, left the administration briefly last April but returned in the fall just before the midterm elections.
The news of the selection of Zients was first reported by the washington post.
Klain, who has held the top job for more than two years, is expected to leave the Biden administration after the president’s State of the Union address early next month, according to two sources familiar with the decision.
Zients’ selection comes as Biden has come under fire for his handling of classified documents found at his Delaware residence and a Washington office he used. The president is also expected to announce his candidacy for reelection in 2024 sometime after the State of the Union address on February 7.
Still, Klain is expected to handle all 2024-related matters from outside the White House, according to sources familiar with the matter, while Zients, a management consultant, will take on all the duties of a chief of staff at a turning point. for the president
Senior adviser Anita Dunn was a serious candidate for the job, according to a person familiar with the decision-making process. Dunn will now have more space to focus on the political needs of Biden’s potential re-election.
Zients previously served as acting director and deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, as well as director of the National Economic Council under the Obama administration for nearly four years. He also chaired former President Barack Obama’s Management Advisory Board.
Zients has long been a figure in the president’s inner circle, even before he took office. He he served as an adviser to Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign and led transition efforts as co-chair prior to his job as COVID-19 response coordinator.