Neera Tanden tapped as White House staff secretary

Neera Tanden
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Neera Tanden will become the White House staff secretary, a White House official confirmed on Friday, meaning she will assume a central role that involves managing the flow of paper to President Biden and among senior officials.

The position is not one that requires Senate confirmation.

Tanden was Biden’s first choice to lead the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) but assumed a role as a White House senior adviser instead after she hit serious roadblocks in her confirmation process.

Republicans angered over her political tweets during her years leading the Center for American Progress blocked her nomination, and the White House could not secure 50 Senate Democrats to back her.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) publicly opposed Tanden’s nomination, and it was withdrawn in March. Biden has yet to select a new nominee for OMB director, a position that Shalanda Young has held in an acting capacity for several months.

Tanden’s move to the staff secretary position was first reported by The Washington Post on Friday morning.

“The Staff Secretary role is the central nervous system of the White House and moves the decision-making process and manages a wide variety of issues for the President,” a White House official said. “Neera has over two decades of experience in policy and management which are critical elements of the role.  Her experience across domestic, economic and national security policy will be a key asset in this new role.”

The official said that Tanden will maintain her title as senior adviser and will report to White House chief of staff Ron Klain, who had backed her for the OMB position internally. The Post reported that Klain announced the move during a Friday morning staff call.

Tanden is a longtime adviser to former secretary of state Hillary Clinton and served at the Department of Health and Human Services as an adviser on health reform during the Obama administration.

As a senior adviser, Tanden worked on the Biden administration’s response to the Supreme Court’s review of the Affordable Care Act and oversaw a review of the U.S. Digital Service, as well as working to secure outside support for the passage of Biden’s sweeping economic agenda. Tanden is expected to continue to work on specific projects and initiatives in addition to her work as staff secretary, the White House official said.

Tags Hillary Clinton Joe Biden Joe Manchin Neera Tanden Office of Management and Budget Ron Klain

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