Ron Klain

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Ron Klain
RonKlain-600x400 (cropped).jpg
Klain in 2021
30th White House Chief of Staff
Assumed office
January 20, 2021
PresidentJoe Biden
DeputyJen O'Malley Dillon
Bruce Reed
Preceded byMark Meadows
White House Ebola Response Coordinator
In office
October 22, 2014 – February 15, 2015
PresidentBarack Obama
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Chief of Staff to the Vice President
In office
January 20, 2009 – January 14, 2011
Vice PresidentJoe Biden
Preceded byDavid Addington
Succeeded byBruce Reed
In office
November 1, 1995 – August 3, 1999
Vice PresidentAl Gore
Preceded byJack Quinn
Succeeded byCharles Burson
Personal details
Born
Ronald Alan Klain[1]

(1961-08-08) August 8, 1961 (age 60)[2]
Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Monica Medina
Children3
EducationGeorgetown University (AB)
Harvard University (JD)

Ronald Alan Klain (/ˈkln/ KLAYN; born August 8, 1961) is an American attorney, political consultant, and former lobbyist serving as White House chief of staff under President Joe Biden. A Democrat, he was previously chief of staff to two vice presidents, Al Gore from 1995 to 1999 and Biden from 2009 to 2011. He was also appointed by President Obama as White House Ebola Response Coordinator after the appearance of Ebola virus cases in the United States, serving from 2014 to 2015.[3] Throughout 2020 he worked as a senior advisor to Biden's presidential campaign.[4][5] Following his victory, Biden announced on November 12 that Klain would serve as White House chief of staff.[6][7]

Early life and education[edit]

Klain was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, to Stanley Klain, a building contractor, and Sarann Warner (née Horwitz), a travel agent.[8][9][10] Klain is Jewish.[11][12] He graduated from North Central High School in 1979 and was on the school's Brain Game team which finished as season runner-up. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree, summa cum laude, from Georgetown University in 1983. In 1987, he received his Juris Doctor degree, magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School.[13]

Career[edit]

Law clerk and Capitol Hill[edit]

From 1983 to 1984, Klain served as legislative director for U.S. Representative Ed Markey (D–MA).[14] Klain was a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Byron White during the 1987 and 1988 terms.[15] From 1989 to 1992, he served as Chief Counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary,[16] overseeing the legal staff's work on matters of constitutional law, criminal law, antitrust law, and Supreme Court nominations, including the 1991 Clarence Thomas Supreme Court nomination. In 1995, Senator Tom Daschle appointed him the Staff Director of the Senate Democratic Leadership Committee.[13]

Clinton administration[edit]

Klain joined the Clinton-Gore campaign in 1992 and was involved in both of Bill Clinton's presidential campaigns.[16] He oversaw Clinton's judicial nominations. In the White House, Klain was Associate Counsel to the President, directing judicial selection efforts and leading the team that won confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.[16] In 1994, he became Chief of Staff and Counselor to Attorney General Janet Reno and in 1995, Chief of Staff to Al Gore.[17]

Gore campaign 1999–2000[edit]

Klain continued to serve as Gore’s Chief of Staff following the official launch of Gore’s presidential campaign on June 16, 1999.[18] On August 2, 1999, Klain resigned from the role to join the Washington, D.C., office of O'Melveny & Myers, a law firm.[19][20] As General Counsel of Gore's Recount Committee, Klain oversaw the November-December 2000 recount of votes in Florida, which ended when the Supreme Court put an end to the counting and George W. Bush was named the winner.[3]

Lobbying[edit]

Klain was registered as a lobbyist for Fannie Mae until 2005.[21]

2004–2014[edit]

Klain prepping President Obama for a presidential debate in 2012. John Kerry (center) played the role of Mitt Romney.

During the early primaries of the 2004 presidential campaign, Klain worked as an adviser to Wesley Clark during Clark's run for president. After John Kerry won the Democratic nomination, Klain became heavily involved behind the scenes in his campaign.[22]

Klain served as an informal adviser to Evan Bayh who is from Klain's home state of Indiana. In 2005, Klain left his partnership at O'Melveny & Myers to become Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Revolution LLC, a technology venture capital firm launched by AOL co-founder Steve Case.[3] At the time of his October 2014 appointment as Ebola response coordinator, he was General Counsel at Revolution LLC and President of Case Holdings.[23]

Obama administration 2008–2015[edit]

Klain briefing President Obama in his role as Ebola Response Coordinator

Klain was one of the people who assisted Barack Obama in his preparation for the 2008 United States presidential debates.[24] On November 12, 2008, Roll Call announced that Klain had been chosen to serve as Chief of Staff to Vice President Joe Biden, the same role he served for Gore.[25][26][27]

Klain had worked with Biden, having served as counsel to the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary while Biden chaired the committee and assisted Biden's speechwriting team during the 1988 presidential campaign.[28]

In May 2010, amid concerns about whether the now-defunct solar-panel company Solyndra was viable, Klain gave the go-ahead for an Obama visit to the factory, and stated in an email to White House advisor Valerie Jarrett that "the reality is that if POTUS visited 10 such places over the next 10 months, probably a few will be belly-up by election day 2012."[29]

Klain was mentioned as a possible replacement for White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel,[30] but opted to leave the White House in January 2011 and return to Case Holdings, where he oversaw Revolution LLC and assisted Steve Case and his wife, Jean Case, in administering the Case Foundation.[31]

On October 17, 2014, Klain was appointed the "Ebola response coordinator" sometimes referred to as Ebola "czar."[32][33][34] Although Klain, according to Julie Hirschfeld Davis writing in The New York Times, had "no record or expertise in Ebola specifically or public health in general,"[33] the choice was praised by Ezra Klein for his bureaucratic experience with coordinating agencies.[35][36] His term as Ebola response coordinator ended in February 2015.

After his term as Ebola czar, Klain worked as an external advisor to the Skoll Foundation Global Threats Fund.[37] He also served as chairman, public advocate and private advisor for Higher Grounds Labs, which describes itself as supporting "start-ups building products that help progressives win."[38]

Biden campaign and administration[edit]

During the 2020 Biden campaign, Klain served as an advisor on the Covid-19 pandemic.[39] In April 2020 he told Wired: "If we’re going to make Covid-19 go away, we’re going to need a very high vaccination rate. The number one public health challenge of 2021 is going to be getting people to take the vaccine."[39] On November 11, 2020, it was announced that President-elect Joe Biden had selected Klain to be White House Chief of Staff.[40][41]

Personal life[edit]

Klain is married to Monica Medina, an attorney, consultant, and co-founder of Our Daily Planet, an environmental news platform.[42] They were college sweethearts at Georgetown and in February 2019 he tweeted that they were celebrating their 40th Valentine's Day together.[43] They have three adult children, Hannah, Michael and Daniel.[44][8]

In financial disclosures Klain reported owning assets worth between $4.4m and $12.2m in 2021 compared to between $1.4m and $3.5m in 2009. He received a salary of almost $2m in 2020 from the venture capital firm Revolution LLC, where he served as general counsel and executive vice president.[45][46] In 2009, he reported earning a salary of $1m.[45]

Klain lives in what the New York Times calls the "verdant power enclave" of Chevy Chase, Maryland, with neighbors that include Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh. He has referred to his large home as “the House That O’Melveny Built,” after his lucrative time at the international law firm O’Melveny & Myers.[47]

In popular culture[edit]

Klain was portrayed by Kevin Spacey in the HBO film Recount, which depicted the tumult of the 2000 presidential election.[26]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Atlanta Constitution from Atlanta, Georgia on October 5, 1986 · 148".
  2. ^ Warshaw, Shirley Anne (2014). The Clinton Years. Infobase Publishing. p. 189. ISBN 978-0-8160-7459-4. Archived from the original on November 12, 2020. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c School, Harvard Law. "Ron Klain | Harvard Law School". Archived from the original on January 9, 2019. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
  4. ^ "Biden for President: More Senior Advisors". Democracy in Action. Archived from the original on August 12, 2020.
  5. ^ Parnes, Amie (September 27, 2020). "Meet Joe Biden's chief debate guru". The Hill. Archived from the original on September 27, 2020.
  6. ^ Shear, Michael D.; Glueck, Katie; Haberman, Maggie; Kaplan, Thomas (November 11, 2020). "Biden Names Ron Klain as White House Chief of Staff". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 12, 2020. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  7. ^ "President-elect Joe Biden Names Ron Klain as White House Chief of Staff". President-Elect Joe Biden. November 12, 2020. Archived from the original on November 12, 2020. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  8. ^ a b "The New Team: Ronald Klain". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 9, 2020. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  9. ^ "Student Honors". Indiana Jewish Post. Indianapolis, Indiana. June 18, 1976. p. 15. Archived from the original on November 12, 2020. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  10. ^ Kornbluh, Jacob (November 11, 2020). "Klain tapped as Biden's incoming White House chief of staff". Jewish Insider. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  11. ^ "By Omri Nahmias, November 12, 2020 The Jerusalem Post". Archived from the original on November 16, 2020. Retrieved November 13, 2020.
  12. ^ Jewish Daily Forward: "Obama Appoints Ron Klain as Ebola 'Czar' – Former White House Official Is a Top Jewish Lawyer Archived October 19, 2014, at the Wayback Machine October 17, 2014
  13. ^ a b "Ron Klain". GU Politics. Archived from the original on August 16, 2016. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
  14. ^ Anand, Priya (July 19, 2013). "Politicos to Watch: Ron Klain". Politico. Retrieved November 16, 2020.
  15. ^ "Ron Klain". Georgetown Institute of Politics and Public Service McCourt School of Public Policy. Archived from the original on August 16, 2016. Retrieved August 3, 2016.
  16. ^ a b c "Ron Klain". Washington Post Politics. Archived from the original on January 8, 2019. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
  17. ^ Miller, Zeke J.; Rothman, Lily (December 5, 2014). "What Happened to the 'Future Leaders' of the 1990s?". Time Magazine. Archived from the original on March 31, 2020. Retrieved November 2, 2018.
  18. ^ "Gore launches presidential campaign - June 16, 1999". www.cnn.com. Retrieved January 24, 2021.
  19. ^ "Gore's Chief of Staff Resigns". AP NEWS. Retrieved January 24, 2021.
  20. ^ "Ronald A. Klain". Administrative Conference of the United States. Archived from the original on January 8, 2019. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
  21. ^ Mosk, Matthew (November 15, 2008). "Some Former Lobbyists Have Key Roles in Obama Transition". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on October 29, 2010. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
  22. ^ Martin Kasendorf and Richard Benedetto (September 27, 2004). "Kerry, Bush Curtail Schedules as They Prepare for Duel". USA Today. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
  23. ^ Allen, Mike (October 21, 2014). "Sources: Klain may succeed Podesta". Politico. Archived from the original on March 1, 2020. Retrieved March 1, 2020.
  24. ^ Barack Obama. The Promised Land. p. 182.
  25. ^ Koffler, Keith (November 12, 2008). "Sources: Biden Picks Klain to Be Chief of Staff" Archived January 10, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. Roll Call; accessed October 18, 2014.
  26. ^ a b Allen, Mike (November 13, 2008). "Klain accepts job as Biden chief of staff" Archived December 18, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. Politico.
  27. ^ Cooper, Helene C. (January 4, 2011). "Ron Klain Leaving Vice President's Staff". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 5, 2011. Retrieved January 5, 2011.
  28. ^ Cramer, Richard Ben (1992). What It Takes: The Way to the White House. Vintage Books. ISBN 0-679-74649-8. p. 482.
  29. ^ Madhani, Aamer (October 3, 2011). "E-mails show White House worried about Solyndra deal". USA Today. Archived from the original on January 7, 2012. Retrieved September 28, 2012.
  30. ^ Henry, Ed (September 8, 2010). "Who might replace Rahm Emanuel?". CNN. Archived from the original on September 10, 2010. Retrieved September 9, 2010.
  31. ^ Heath, Thomas (January 5, 2011). "Ron Klain, Biden's chief of staff, resigns to join Case Holdings". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved July 21, 2021.
  32. ^ Jake Tapper (October 17, 2014). "Obama will name Ron Klain as Ebola czar". CNN. Archived from the original on October 18, 2014. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
  33. ^ a b Davis, Julie Hirschfeld; Shear, Michael D. (October 17, 2014). "Ron Klain, Chief of Staff to 2 Vice Presidents, Is Named Ebola Czar". New York Times. Archived from the original on October 17, 2014. Retrieved October 17, 2014.
  34. ^ Lavender, Paige (October 17, 2014). "Obama To Appoint Ron Klain As Ebola Czar". The Huffington Post. Archived from the original on October 18, 2014. Retrieved October 17, 2014.
  35. ^ Klein, Ezra (October 17, 2014). "Ron Klain is a great choice for Ebola czar". Vox. Archived from the original on November 16, 2020. Retrieved November 16, 2020.
  36. ^ "The Brief – But Busy – Reign of the Ebola Czar". Intelligencer. Archived from the original on November 16, 2020. Retrieved November 16, 2020.
  37. ^ Klain, Ron (August 2, 2016). "The Growing Zika Threat – and Congress's Inaction". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on December 1, 2017. Retrieved August 3, 2016.
  38. ^ "Farewell to Ron Klain". Higher Ground Labs. November 17, 2020. Retrieved July 21, 2021.
  39. ^ a b "Obama's Ebola Czar on What Strong Federal Response Looks Like". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved July 21, 2021.
  40. ^ Shear, Michael D.; Glueck, Katie; Haberman, Maggie; Kaplan, Thomas (November 12, 2020). "Biden to Name Ron Klain as White House Chief of Staff". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 12, 2020. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  41. ^ Barrabi, Thomas (November 11, 2020). "Biden selects Ronald Klain as White House chief of staff". Fox News. Archived from the original on November 16, 2020. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  42. ^ "Monica Medina". www.csis.org. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  43. ^ "https://twitter.com/ronaldklain/status/1096544366083170305". Twitter. Retrieved July 21, 2021. External link in |title= (help)
  44. ^ "NOAA Leadership: Monica Medina" Archived December 28, 2010, at the Wayback Machine. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website; retrieved August 14, 2013.
  45. ^ a b "Obama-era officials return to White House under Biden after getting very rich in the interim". The Independent. March 21, 2021. Retrieved March 27, 2021.
  46. ^ Schwartz, Brian (March 20, 2021). "Biden's closest advisors have ties to big business and Wall Street with some making millions". CNBC. Retrieved March 27, 2021.
  47. ^ Leibovich, Mark (July 18, 2021). "The Ascension of Ron Klain". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 21, 2021.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Jack Quinn
Chief of Staff to the Vice President
1995–1999
Succeeded by
Charles Burson
Preceded by
David Addington
Chief of Staff to the Vice President
2009–2011
Succeeded by
Bruce Reed
Preceded by
Mark Meadows
White House Chief of Staff
2021–present
Incumbent
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Eric Lander
as Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy
Order of precedence of the United States
as White House Chief of Staff
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