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Biden Announces Bruce Reed as New Chief of Staff Biden Announces Bruce Reed as New Chief of Staff

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Biden Announces Bruce Reed as New Chief of Staff

The executive director of the deficit commission -- and a noted New Democrat -- will succeed Ron Klain.


Bruce Reed, pictured at center with his former boss, Bill Clinton, will serve as Vice President Joe Biden’s new chief of staff.(Joyce Naltchayan/AFP/Getty Images)

Updated at 2:15 p.m. on January 14.

The White House announced today that Bruce Reed, the executive director of the Bowles-Simpson Commission and domestic policy adviser in the Clinton administration, will succeed Ron Klain as Vice President Joe Biden’s new chief of staff. Biden will also welcome Michael C. Donilon, a leading Democratic political consultant, who will return to his previous position as counselor to the vice president. Michael Donilon is the brother of National Security Adviser Tom Donilon.


“I’m very excited to join Vice President Biden’s team, and to work with the fine staff he has assembled. I’m thrilled that he asked me to take on this role, and I look forward to helping him advance the important agenda of the Obama-Biden administration,” said Reed, who is considered one of the leading New Democrats. He served as executive director of the Democratic Leadership Council and was a central policy architect of the 1992 Clinton presidential campaign. He's a close friend of Klain.

In addition to his experience as the chief domestic policy adviser to Bill Clinton, Reed also served as deputy domestic policy adviser and assistant to the president for domestic policy planning. In the Clinton-Gore White House, he worked chiefly on welfare reform and education. He also had the opportunity to work with Biden when the vice president was a senator to win passage of the 1994 Biden crime bill and the Violence Against Women Act.

Earlier, Reed worked as a deputy campaign manager for policy in the Clinton-Gore campaign, and he served on Al Gore’s Senate staff from 1985 to 1989. In between working for Gore and Clinton, he served as policy director for the Democratic Leadership Council. He served a second stint there starting in January 2001 until he began work for the deficit commission nine months ago.


“I’ve known and admired Bruce for over 20 years,” said Vice President Biden.  “We worked closely together to pass the crime bill in the 1990s and I’ve frequently sought his advice and counsel in the years since. He brings a unique blend of experience and perspective to this position and his leadership will be a tremendous asset to my office, and to the entire White House.”

Fun facts about Reed: He's a Rhodes Scholar and a former New Republic reporter-researcher. He proposed to his wife, Bonnie LePard, at a Pittsburgh Pirates game and was touted by famed sportswriter Peter Gammons as a possible choice for Major League Baseball commissioner. He's an Idaho native and a Princeton graduate. 

In another staff move that was announced today, assistant press secretary Tommy Vietor will replace Mike Hammer as National Security Council spokesman. Hammer will be leaving his NSC post to become deputy assistant secretary for Public Affairs at the State Department.

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