Ron Klain is a lawyer, a political operative, and a former aide to both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. In November 2020, he was named President Joe Biden’s chief of staff.
Who Is Ron Klain?
Ron Klain grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana, and by the time he went to Harvard Law School, he knew a lot about running for office. In the Bill Clinton administration, he was named associate general counsel and vice president Al Gore’s chief of staff. In the Obama administration, he was Vice President Joe Biden’s top aide and the “Ebola czar.” Klain has also worked as a lawyer, advisor, and board member for a number of organizations. He joined Biden’s presidential campaign in 2020, and in November 2020, he was named the president’s chief of staff.
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Ron Klein was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, on August 8, 1961. His father, Stanley, was a builder, and his mother, Sarann, was a travel agent.
Work in Politics:
Ron Klain’s early meeting with Robert Kennedy sparked his interest in politics. At age 15, he worked as an intern for Colorado Senator Floyd Haskell and was elected president of his high school class. He then worked for Senators Edward Kennedy (Massachusetts) and Birch Bayh (Indiana) while studying government at Georgetown University. Patrick was the first person in quite a while family to complete school when he graduated summa cum laude in 1983.
Achievements in Law School:
After running the 1984 Senate campaign for Massachusetts Congressman Ed Markey, Ron Klain went to Harvard Law School. In 1985, he won the Sears Prize for having the best grade point average. Before Ron Klain got his J.D. in 1987, he was editor of the Harvard Law Review.
Early Years in Government:
Ron Klain is a rising star inside the Beltway. From 1987 to 1988, he worked as a clerk for Supreme Court Justice By Ron Klain White and helped Delaware Senator Joe Biden run for president in 1988. Then, from 1989 to 1992, he was chief counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he worked with Biden. This was during the time of the controversial Clarence Thomas Supreme Court confirmation hearings in 1991.
The Clinton Government:
Ron Klain joined Clinton’s presidential campaign in 1992 as an advisor and debate coach. He did this job for many Democratic candidates in the years to come. He worked as an associate counsel for President Clinton, where he helped choose judges like Ruth Bader Ginsburg for the Supreme Court. He then became the chief of staff for Attorney General Janet Reno.
The Chief of Staff for Gore and the Recount in Florida:
Klain was Vice President Gore’s chief of staff for almost four years, until August 1999, when he said he was leaving the job. In late 2000, he went back to the Democratic presidential candidate’s team to lead the Florida recount, which was hotly contested and ultimately failed.
After working in the private sector for most of a decade, Klain went back to work for the government from 2009 until early 2011. He was Vice President Biden’s chief of staff.
Rollout of the American Recovery:
During this time, Klain also led the rollout of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which was signed by President Obama. Even though the massive stimulus programme did a good job of preventing the worst effects of the Great Recession, it had some bad PR, like the lacklustre “Recovery Summer” of 2010 and the government’s investment in the failed solar power company Solyndra.
In October 2014, President Obama asked his former assistant to lead the U.S. government’s response to the Ebola pandemic. Critics of the move pointed out that Klain didn’t have a background in medicine, but the “Ebola czar” did a good job of coordinating the military and civilian response in West Africa. He also handled the difficult tasks of getting infected Americans out of the area and getting rid of Ebola-related hospital waste.
Because of how well he did, the president announced in February 2015 that almost all of the 3,000 troops in West Africa would be coming home. This was right around the time that Klain left the job. In response, the president put out a statement that said, “He took on a challenge that many people thought was impossible to solve, and by leading the team that made such great progress, he helped show the world what makes America so special.”
Chief Staff for presidential campaign:
Klain went back to what he knew best when he became Biden’s chief of staff for the 2020 presidential campaign. In addition to his regular job as a debate coach, he became one of the most vocal critics of what President Trump did to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
Most major news outlets called Biden the winner of the election on November 7, 2020, but Trump’s legal team fought that decision. On November 11, 2020, Trump chose Klain to be his chief of staff.
Corporate Law & Who Sits on Boards:
Klain was a partner at the Washington, D.C., office of the law firm O’Melveny & Myers LLP before and after he worked on the Gore campaign. There, he lobbied for big clients like the lender Sallie Mae and the drug company ImClone.
Business Relationship with Steve:
Klain then got into a long-term business relationship with Steve Case, who started AOL. In 2005, Klain joined Case’s investment firm Revolution LLC as executive vice president and general counsel. In 2011, he was also given the job of president of Case’s holding company.
American Progress Action Fund:
Ron Klain became an outside advisor to the Skoll Global Threats Fund and the head of the advisory board for the investment firm Higher Ground Labs after he left the Obama administration. Ron Klain has also been on the boards of the American Progress Action Fund, the American Constitution Society, and Third Way, and he has taught part-time at Harvard Law and Georgetown.
Ron Klain is married to Monica Medina, a lawyer and environmentalist who started the newsletter Our Daily Planet. Hannah, Michael, and Daniel are their three kids.