Who is Jeff Zients, Biden’s likely choice as new White House chief of staff?

President Joe Biden is expected to name Jeff Zients, who was an Obama administration official and Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution head, to succeed Ron Klain as the next White House chief of staff, several media outlets are reporting.

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Klain, who said he will retire in the coming weeks, suggested Zients be chosen as his successor, according to a story from CNN.

Who is Jeff Zients? Here’s what we know about Biden’s likely next chief of staff.

  • Zients – his name rhymes with “science” – is 56 years old.
  • He was chairman, chief executive officer and chief operating officer of the Advisory Board Company and chairman of the Corporate Executive Board. The companies are Washington-area consulting firms.
  • Zients was a top economic adviser to President Barack Obama.
  • He was the director of the National Economic Council and a senior official at the Office of Management and Budget.
  • He led the team that was to fix, the federal website for the Affordable Care Act. The website experienced significant technical difficulties in 2013.
  • He was on the board of Facebook Inc. after leaving the Obama administration.
  • He was a top executive with the investing holding company Cranemere Group.
  • Zients co-chaired Biden’s presidential transition team in 2020.
  • He oversaw the White House’s plan to increase the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • He was in the administration until last April. The Wall Street Journal reported that Zients left the administration, saying he had no specific job plans.
  • By the time he was 35, he ranked 25 on Fortune’s list of the richest Americans under age 40. He had an estimated worth of $149 million.
  • According to CNN, he was worth at least $89.3 million when his financial disclosures were made public in March 2021. That made him the wealthiest member of Biden’s Cabinet appointments.
  • He founded Portfolio Logic, an investment firm focused on health care and business services.
  • Klain asked Zients to prepare for staff departures following the 2022 midterm elections and help identify potential replacements.
  • Zients is expected to focus on policy and governing, according to the Journal.