Person

Ronald Klain

Ron Klain May 2009 (link)
Nationality:

American

Occupation:

Biden Administration White House Chief of Staff

Political Party:

Democratic Party

Biden Administration

Ronald A. “Ron” Klain is a lawyer, former lobbyist, [1] and Democratic Party operative who has been the White House Chief of Staff during the Biden administration since January 2021. Klain has worked on-and-off for Joe Biden for 35 years. [2] [3]

As White House Chief of Staff, Klain is notable for his active presence on Twitter. Among other posts he has made in the role are retweets of statements calling the administration’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)  COVID-19 vaccine mandates “the ultimate work-around” for the government to require vaccinations [4] and COVID-19-related supply chain problems a “high class problem.” [5]

Prior to joining the Biden administration, Klain worked on Hillary Clinton’s unsuccessful 2016 presidential campaign, [6] was the Obama administration’s Ebola response director, chief of staff to then-Vice President Joe Biden, [7] [8]  associate counsel to then-President Bill Clinton, [9] [10] and chief of staff to then-Vice President Al Gore. [11] [12] [13] He was also the lead counsel for the Gore Recount Committee’s efforts to conduct a recount of the State of Florida’s 2000 presidential-election results. [14]

Career

Ronald Klain is a lawyer and career Democratic Party operative who has been the White House Chief of Staff during the Biden administration since January 2021 and has worked on-and-off for Joe Biden for 35 years. [15] [16] In November 2020, President-elect Biden selected Klain to be White House Chief of Staff, due in large part to his long experience working with Klain. Biden claimed that they had “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.” [17] His appointment came despite Klain’s 2020 remarks as a part of a Texas A&M University panel in which he said the Obama administration “did every possible thing wrong” during the 2009 swine flu outbreak. [18]

Biden Administration

As Chief of Staff, Klain retweeted that the Biden Administration Department of Labor Occupational  Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) COVID-19 vaccine mandates were the “ultimate work-around” for the federal government to require vaccinations in September 2021. [19] Klain’s Twitter post was referenced in U.S. Supreme Court questioning that led to a ruling ultimately staying enforcement of OSHA COVID-19 vaccination mandates for businesses with more than 100 employees. [20] [21]

In 2022, Klain blamed the Trump administration for the Biden administration’s low public approval on COVID-19 pandemic measures. [22] Klain also argued that the Trump administration “created an expectation of a president creating a [s***storm] every single day” [23] and said the American people would have to “fight for their democracy” after Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) lost renomination in a Republican primary election. [24]

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Klain retweeted a statement calling COVID-19-related supply-chain problems a “high class problem.” [25] During the Trump administration, he had said it would be “impossible to cut off the flow of people from China to the United States” just the week following the Trump administration banning travel from China in 2020. [26] He also urged people to patronize businesses in Chinatowns during the initial COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S., saying, “Lets fight the disease AND let’s fight prejudice.” [27]

Klain was also an early supporter of President Biden’s controversial selection of president of the liberal Center for American Progress (CAP) (CAP) Neera Tanden to run the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). [28]

Trump Years

In September 2018, Klain appeared to endorse unproven allegations of sexual harassment against then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. He tweeted that he had “felt the exact same way” after hearing similar allegations against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, whose nomination he observed as chief counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1991. [29]

Prior to joining the Biden administration, Klain worked on Hillary Clinton’s unsuccessful 2016 presidential campaign. [30] He also worked as general counsel and executive vice president of Revolution LLC. According to ABC News, Klain reportedly received a nearly $2 million salary in 2020 and tripled his net wealth between the time he joined the Obama administration and joined the Biden administration. [31] [32] [33]

Obama Administration

During the Obama administration, Ron Klain served as chief of staff to then-Vice President Joe Biden from January 2009 until January 2011. He also worked as the administration’s Ebola response coordinator from October 2014 until February 2015 despite a lack of medical experience. [34] [35]

In 2010, Klain supported the Obama administration’s decision to loan $465 million of government funds to the now-bankrupt solar-panel manufacturer Solyndra and convinced President Barack Obama to visit Solyndra’s facilities despite the “risk factors” that existed with the company. [36] [37] He also downplayed the risks of President Obama visiting companies that might fail despite government support. [38] Prior to joining the Obama administration, Klain was involved in the Obama transition team and worked as a lobbyist for Fannie Mae until 2005. [39]

Clinton Administration

Ron Klain worked in various roles in the Clinton administration from 1993 until 1999. [40] Klain was associate counsel to President Bill Clinton and counselor to Attorney General Janet Reno, where he assisted in the appointment of federal judges. [41] [42] Klain also worked as then-Vice President Al Gore’s chief of staff. [43] [44] [45]

In 2000, Klain was Chief General Counsel for the Gore Recount Committee’s efforts to conduct a recount of the State of Florida’s 2000 presidential election results. [46] [47]

Other Government Work

Ron Klain worked as then-Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE)’s staff director on the Senate Judiciary Committee, [48] as chief counsel of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary from June 1989 to June 1992,  [49] [50] and also worked as legislative director for then-Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA). [51]

From June 1987 until June 1989, Klain was a clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Byron White. [52] [53]

Non-Government Roles

Prior to joining the Biden administration, Ron Klain worked as a lecturer in law at Harvard Law School and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University. [54]

Klain has been a member of the governing council of the Administrative Conference of the United States, a board member of the left-of-center Center for American Progress Action Fund, a board member of the left-of-center legal organization American Constitution Society, and a board member of left-of-center think tank Third Way. [55]

He also worked as chair of the advisory board of the left-progressive political-technology firm accelerator Higher Ground Labs from 2017 until 2020 [56] and as an external advisor to the Skoll Global Threats Fund, an offshoot of the left-of-center Skoll Foundation. [57]

Political Contributions

Ronald Klain has made Federal Election Commission-reportable contributions to numerous Democratic Party-affiliated campaigns and campaign committees, including the presidential campaign of Joe Biden (D), Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), left-of-center Mad Dog PAC, left-of-center passthrough ActBlue, Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI),  Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA), Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), Rep. Haley Stevens (D-MI), Rep. Ben McAdams (D-UT), Rep. Donna Shalala (D-FL), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Rep. Xochitl Torres-Small (D-NM), Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-NY), Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA), and others. [58]

Personal Information

Klain graduated with an A.B in American government and politics from Georgetown University in 1983. He received a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1987. [59] Klain was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, and resides in Chevy Chase, Maryland. [60] [61]

In April 2021, President Joe Biden nominated Klain’s wife, Monica Medina, to be the assistant secretary of state in U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs. [62] She worked in various capacities for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) during the Obama administration and Clinton administration. [63] [64] [65]

References

  1. Mosk, Matthew. “Some Former Lobbyists Have Key Roles in Obama Transition.” Washington Post. November 15, 2008. Accessed August 16, 2022. https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/14/AR2008111403922.html?sid=ST2008111500401. ^
  2. Leibovich, Mark. “The Ascension of Ron Klain.” The New York Times. July 18, 2021. Accessed August 16, 2022. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/18/us/ron-klain-chief-of-staff.html. ^
  3. “Ron Klain.” The Institute for China-America Studies. Accessed August 20, 2022. https://chinaus-icas.org/biden-administration-international-affairs-personnel-tracker/ron-klain-white-house-chief-of-staff/ ^
  4. Lepore, Stephen. “’He said the quiet part out loud’” White House chief of staff slammed for re-tweeting post about Biden vaccine requirement being the ‘ultimate work-around to achieving a national mandate.” Daily Mail. September 10, 2021. Accessed August 16, 2022. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9976957/Republicans-furious-White-House-Chief-Staff-retweets-post-calling-vaccine-mandate-workaround.html. ^
  5.  Spocchia, Gino. “Ron Klain says supply chain is a ‘high class problem’ after blaming Trump era for chaos.” The Independent. October 14, 2021. Accessed via Web Archive August 20, 2022. https://archive.ph/wk0K2. ^
  6. Leibovich, Mark. “The Ascension of Ron Klain.” The New York Times. July 18, 2021. Accessed August 16, 2022. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/18/us/ron-klain-chief-of-staff.html. ^
  7. Klain, Ron. “The Growing Zika Threat – and Congress’s Inaction.” The Wall Street Journal. August 2, 2016. Accessed via Web Archive. August 16, 2022. https://www.wsj.com/articles/BL-WB-64824. https://archive.ph/1bfAc. ^
  8. Miller, Jake. “GOP: Ebola “czar” Ron Klain steeped in politics, not medicine.” October 19, 2014. Accessed August 16, 2022. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/gop-ebola-czar-ron-klain-steeped-in-politics-not-medicine/. ^
  9. Barrabi, Thomas. “Biden selects Ronald Klain as White House chief of staff.” Fox News. November 11, 2020. Accessed August 20, 2022. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/biden-selects-ronald-klain-white-house-chief-of-staff. ^
  10. Leibovich, Mark. “The Ascension of Ron Klain.” The New York Times. July 18, 2021. Accessed August 16, 2022. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/18/us/ron-klain-chief-of-staff.html. ^
  11. Leibovich, Mark. “The Ascension of Ron Klain.” The New York Times. July 18, 2021. Accessed August 16, 2022. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/18/us/ron-klain-chief-of-staff.html. ^
  12. “Ron Klain.” Biography.com. December 9, 2020. Accessed August 16, 2022. https://www.biography.com/political-figure/ron-klain. ^
  13. Barrabi, Thomas. “Biden selects Ronald Klain as White House chief of staff.” Fox News. November 11, 2020. Accessed August 20, 2022. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/biden-selects-ronald-klain-white-house-chief-of-staff. ^
  14. “Ronald A. Klain.” Administrative Conference of the United States. Accessed August 20, 2022. https://www.acus.gov/contacts/ronald-klain. ^
  15. Leibovich, Mark. “The Ascension of Ron Klain.” The New York Times. July 18, 2021. Accessed August 16, 2022. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/18/us/ron-klain-chief-of-staff.html. ^
  16. “Ron Klain.” The Institute for China-America Studies. Accessed August 20, 2022. https://chinaus-icas.org/biden-administration-international-affairs-personnel-tracker/ron-klain-white-house-chief-of-staff/. ^
  17. Hunnicutt, Trevor. “Biden taps longtime aid Ron Klain, who led Ebola fight, as chief of staff.” Retuers. November 11, 2020. Accessed August 20, 2022. https://www.reuters.com/article/usa-election-biden-klain-idINKBN27S0B6. ^
  18. “Ron Klain says Obama admin did ‘every possible thing wrong’ on H1N1.” Yahoo News via Fox News. November 11, 2020. Accessed August 20, 2022. https://www.yahoo.com/now/ron-klain-says-obama-admin-015941033.html. ^
  19. Lepore, Stephen. “’He said the quiet part out loud’” White House chief of staff slammed for re-tweeting post about Biden vaccine requirement being the ‘ultimate work-around to achieving a national mandate.” Daily Mail. September 10, 2021. Accessed August 16, 2022. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9976957/Republicans-furious-White-House-Chief-Staff-retweets-post-calling-vaccine-mandate-workaround.html. ^
  20. Gerstman, Evan. “How a White House Tweet May Doom Biden’s Workplace Vaccine Mandate.” Forbes. January 8, 2022. Accessed August 16, 2022. https://www.forbes.com/sites/evangerstmann/2022/01/08/how-a-white-house-tweet-may-doom-bidens-workplace-vaccine-mandate/?sh=2ee9c6765e5d. ^
  21. Brian D. Pedrow, Shannon D. Farmer, and Lila A. Sevener. “The Supreme Court Has Ruled on the OSHA and CMS Vaccine Mandates – What Now?” Ballard Spahr. January 18, 2022. Accessed August 16, 2022. https://www.ballardspahr.com/insights/alerts-and-articles/2022/01/the-supreme-court-has-ruled-on-the-osha-and-cms-vaccine-mandates. ^
  22. “Biden Chief of Staff Ron Klain Blames Trump For Americans Disapproving of Biden on COVID.” GOP War Room YouTube Channel; Clip extracted from NBC News Interview. Posted January 20, 2022. Accessed August 20, 2022. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nT6530ov0kw. ^
  23. Sabes, Adam. “Ron Klain says Biden not ‘creating a s—tstorm every day” like Trump.” Fox News. August 19, 2022. Accessed August 20, 2022. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/ron-klain-says-biden-not-creating-s-tstorm-every-day-like-trump. ^
  24. Hooper, Kelly. “Klain: Cheney defeat means Americans must ‘fight for their democracy’.” Yahoo Finance. August 17, 2022. Accessed August 20, 2022. https://news.yahoo.com/klain-cheney-defeat-means-americans-143144613.html. ^
  25. Spocchia, Gino. “Ron Klain says supply chain is a ‘high class problem’ after blaming Trump era for chaos.” The Independent. October 14, 2021. Accessed via Web Archive August 20, 2022. https://archive.ph/wk0K2. ^
  26. “Ron Klain Tweet.” Twitter. Posted March 29, 2020. Accessed August 20, 2022. https://twitter.com/ronaldklain/status/1244401877871099911. ^
  27. “Ronald Klain Tweet.” Twitter. Posted February 28, 2020. Accessed August 20, 2022. https://twitter.com/ronaldklain/status/1233392663145205761. ^
  28. Leibovich, Mark. “The Ascension of Ron Klain.” The New York Times. July 18, 2021. Accessed August 16, 2022. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/18/us/ron-klain-chief-of-staff.html. ^
  29. “Ronald Klain Tweet.” Twitter. Posted September 27, 2018. Accessed August 20, 2022. https://twitter.com/ronaldklain/status/1045325693607923712. ^
  30. Leibovich, Mark. “The Ascension of Ron Klain.” The New York Times. July 18, 2021. Accessed August 16, 2022. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/18/us/ron-klain-chief-of-staff.html. ^
  31. Chamberlain, Samuel. “White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain has been ‘elite’ mouthpiece.” New York Post. October 14, 2021. Accessed August 20, 2022. https://nypost.com/2021/10/14/white-house-chief-of-staff-ron-klain-has-been-elite-mouthpiece/. ^
  32. “Ron Klain.” Indiana University Bloomington. Accessed August 20, 2022. https://rural.indiana.edu/about/board-of-advisors/klain-ron.html. ^
  33. Soo Rin Kim and Libby Cathey. “Obama-era officials return to White House worth millions.” ABC News. March 21, 2021. Accessed August 16, 2022. https://abcnews.go.com/US/obama-era-officials-return-white-house-worth-millions/story?id=76582015. ^
  34. Klain, Ron. “The Growing Zika Threat – and Congress’s Inaction.” The Wall Street Journal. August 2, 2016. Accessed via Web Archive. August 16, 2022. https://www.wsj.com/articles/BL-WB-64824. https://archive.ph/1bfAc. ^
  35. Miller, Jake. “GOP: Ebola “czar” Ron Klain steeped in politics, not medicine.” October 19, 2014. Accessed August 16, 2022. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/gop-ebola-czar-ron-klain-steeped-in-politics-not-medicine/. ^
  36. Meyer, Theodoric. “Avoiding the next Solyndra.” Politico West Wing Playbook. April 18, 2021. Accessed August 20, 2022. ^
  37. Madhani, Aamer. “E-mails show White House worried about Solyndra Deal.” USA Today. Accessed August 16, 2022. https://content.usatoday.com/communities/theoval/post/2011/10/e-mails-show-white-house-worried-about-solyndra-deal/1#.YIxVmbWu5Pb. ^
  38. Grunwald, Michael. “The Crisis that Forged Biden’s Chief of Staff.” Politico Magazine. November 16, 2020. Accessed August 20, 2022. https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/11/16/ron-klainhard-knock-political-education-436484. ^
  39. Mosk, Matthew. “Some Former Lobbyists Have Key Roles in Obama Transition.” Washington Post. November 15, 2008. Accessed August 16, 2022. https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/14/AR2008111403922.html?sid=ST2008111500401. ^
  40. “Ron Klain.” LinkedIn Profile. Accessed August 16, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/ron-klain-3016b71/. ^
  41. Barrabi, Thomas. “Biden selects Ronald Klain as White House chief of staff.” Fox News. November 11, 2020. Accessed August 20, 2022. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/biden-selects-ronald-klain-white-house-chief-of-staff. ^
  42. Leibovich, Mark. “The Ascension of Ron Klain.” The New York Times. July 18, 2021. Accessed August 16, 2022. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/18/us/ron-klain-chief-of-staff.html. ^
  43. Leibovich, Mark. “The Ascension of Ron Klain.” The New York Times. July 18, 2021. Accessed August 16, 2022. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/18/us/ron-klain-chief-of-staff.html. ^
  44. “Ron Klain.” Biography.com. December 9, 2020. Accessed August 16, 2022. https://www.biography.com/political-figure/ron-klain. ^
  45. Barrabi, Thomas. “Biden selects Ronald Klain as White House chief of staff.” Fox News. November 11, 2020. Accessed August 20, 2022. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/biden-selects-ronald-klain-white-house-chief-of-staff. ^
  46. “Ronald A. Klain.” Administrative Conference of the United States. Accessed August 20, 2022. https://www.acus.gov/contacts/ronald-klain. ^
  47. Leibovich, Mark. “The Ascension of Ron Klain.” The New York Times. July 18, 2021. Accessed August 16, 2022. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/18/us/ron-klain-chief-of-staff.html. ^
  48. Grunwald, Michael. “The Crisis that Forged Biden’s Chief of Staff.” Politico Magazine. November 16, 2020. Accessed August 20, 2022. https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/11/16/ron-klainhard-knock-political-education-436484. ^
  49. “Ron Klain.” LinkedIn Profile. Accessed August 16, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/ron-klain-3016b71/. ^
  50. Leibovich, Mark. “The Ascension of Ron Klain.” The New York Times. July 18, 2021. Accessed August 16, 2022. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/18/us/ron-klain-chief-of-staff.html. ^
  51. Leibovich, Mark. “The Ascension of Ron Klain.” The New York Times. July 18, 2021. Accessed August 16, 2022. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/18/us/ron-klain-chief-of-staff.html. ^
  52. “Ron Klain.” LinkedIn Profile. Accessed August 16, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/ron-klain-3016b71/. ^
  53. Leibovich, Mark. “The Ascension of Ron Klain.” The New York Times. July 18, 2021. Accessed August 16, 2022. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/18/us/ron-klain-chief-of-staff.html. ^
  54.  “Ron Klain.” LinkedIn Profile. Accessed August 16, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/ron-klain-3016b71/. ^
  55.  “Ron Klain.” Georgetown University Biography. Accessed via Web Archive August 16, 2022. https://web.archive.org/web/20160816214549/http://politics.georgetown.edu/ron-klain/. ^
  56. “Ron Klain.” LinkedIn Profile. Accessed August 16, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/ron-klain-3016b71/. ^
  57. Klain, Ron. “The Growing Zika Threat – and Congress’s Inaction.” The Wall Street Journal. August 2, 2016. Accessed via Web Archive. August 16, 2022. https://www.wsj.com/articles/BL-WB-64824.https://archive.ph/1bfAc. ^
  58. “Individual Contributions.” Federal Election Commission Search Results. Accessed August 20, 2022. https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/individual-contributions/?contributor_name=ronald%20klain. ^
  59. “Ron Klain.” LinkedIn Profile. Accessed August 16, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/ron-klain-3016b71/. ^
  60. Lusignan, Amy. “Ron Klain, a Chevy Chase Resident, to be Biden’s Chief of Staff.” The Moco Show. November 13, 2020. Accessed August 16, 2022. https://mocoshow.com/blog/ron-klain-a-chevy-chase-resident-to-be-bidens-chief-of-staff/. ^
  61. Downey, Caroline. “Activists Protest at WH Chief of Staff’s House Pushing for Climate-Emergency Declaration.” National Review. July 23, 2022. Accessed Augusts 16, 2022. https://www.nationalreview.com/news/activists-protest-at-wh-chief-of-staffs-house-pushing-for-climate-emergency-declaration/. ^
  62. Leibovich, Mark. “The Ascension of Ron Klain.” The New York Times. July 18, 2021. Accessed August 16, 2022. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/18/us/ron-klain-chief-of-staff.html. ^
  63. “Ron Klain.” Georgetown University Biography. Accessed via Web Archive August 16, 2022. https://web.archive.org/web/20160816214549/http://politics.georgetown.edu/ron-klain/. ^
  64. “Monica Medina, Principal Deputy Undersecretary for Oceans and Atmosphere.” United States Environmental Protection Agency Archival Website. Accessed August 16, 2022. https://archive.epa.gov/gulfcoasttaskforce/web/html/medina.html. ^
  65. Saric, Ivana. “Monica Medina nominated for State Department’s top oceans, environment post.” Axios. April 22, 2021. Accessed August 20, 2022. https://www.axios.com/2021/04/22/biden-nominates-monica-medina-oceans-klain. ^
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