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Jeff Zients will take over as Biden’s next chief of staff, succeeding Ron Klain.

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will name Jeff Zients as his next chief of staff, succeeding Ron Klain, who is expected to leave in the coming weeks, according to an administration official and a person familiar with the decision.

Zients, who previously led the Biden administration’s Covid-19 response, left the administration briefly in April but returned in the fall, just before the midterm elections.

The Washington Post broke the news of Zients’ appointment first.

Klain, who has been in charge for more than two years, is expected to leave the Biden administration after the president’s State of the Union address early next month, according to two sources familiar with the decision.

Biden has been chastised for his handling of classified documents discovered at his Delaware home and a Washington office he used. The president is also expected to announce his re-election bid for 2024 sometime after the State of the Union address on Feb. 7.

Nonetheless, Klain is expected to be tasked with handling all 2024-related matters from outside the White House, according to sources familiar with the situation, while Zients, a management consultant, will take on all duties of a chief of staff at a critical time for the president.

According to one person familiar with the decision-making process, senior adviser Anita Dunn was a strong contender for the position. Dunn will now have more time to focus on the political needs of Biden’s potential re-election bid.

For nearly four years, Zients was the acting director and deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, as well as the director of the National Economic Council, under the Obama administration. He also served on former President Barack Obama’s Management Advisory Board.

Zients has long been a member of the president’s inner circle, even before he became president. Prior to his role as Covid-19 response coordinator, he was an adviser to Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign and co-chaired transition efforts.

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