Zients left the White House in April after leading the administration’s response to the pandemic and leading the largest vaccine campaign in U.S. history. He returned to the White House in the fall, then helped Klein prepare for staff turnover Middle Ages – The program was ultimately limited as a few senior staff members left the administration. But in recent weeks, Klein has assigned him different projects, which some believe is preparing Zients for the lead role, the staffer, who is familiar with the arrangement, spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the matter.
A White House spokesman declined to comment.
Zients takes the top job as Biden enters a new and challenging stretch of his presidency: Republicans have already launched a barrage of investigations into the administration and business dealings of the president’s son. Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed a special counsel to investigate the handling of classified documents found in Biden’s private office and Wilmington, Del., home. And Biden is preparing to launch his re-election bid.
Giants comes to the job with a different profile than Klein: His first government job was during the Obama administration, and he has spent most of his career in the private sector. He has served only in the Executive Branch. There are no posts on his personal Twitter account.
But colleagues have praised Zients as a great implementer who builds deep loyalty from the people he supervises.
As Biden moves into his political career, some Democrats have said they expect the structure of the chief of staff’s work to change, along with Biden’s political advisers, including Anita Dunn, Jen O’Malley Dillon, Mike Donilan, Steve Ricchetti and Bruce Reid. More emphasis on building.
They compared the arrangement to that of the Obama White House, where Jack Lew served as chief of staff in 2012 and focused on keeping the federal government running while David Plouffe, a political strategist, took over the White House from 2011 to 2013. Senior Advisor to Oversee Re-election Campaign Democrats say Dunn, a senior adviser, will serve in a bluff-like role.
Zients, 56, was born in Washington and attended St. Albans School before graduating from Duke University. A successful management consultant, he co-founded a consulting firm with David Bradley that took it public and raised millions of dollars. In the early 2000s, Zients formed a group to buy the Washington Nationals, an effort that ultimately failed.
He first entered government during the Obama administration and served in several senior roles, including the Office of Management and Budget and the National Economic Council. He was “fix-it” for his strong operational skills, including helping fix the troubled launch of the Mr. Obama administration’s health-care website, healthcare.gov.
After leaving the Obama administration, Zients ran an investment firm and spent two years on the Facebook board, drawing criticism from liberals.
Zients was brought in to help finance the campaign during a particularly difficult stretch during Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign. He co-chaired Biden’s transition before leading the administration’s coronavirus response.
In leading the effort to fight the pandemic, Giants took on one of the most challenging and important tasks for a president — overseeing the initial efforts to vaccinate the American people and adapt to new and more infectious strains. When Zients left the White House, Biden praised him as a “servant and expert manager.”
“I tapped Jeff Giants to lead my administration’s COVID-19 response because there is no one better than Jeff to deliver results,” Biden said in a statement at the time.