Biden Names Neera Tanden to Lead the Domestic Policy Council
WASHINGTON — Neera Tanden, a longtime Democratic adviser who is currently President Biden’s staff secretary, will serve as the director of the Domestic Policy Council, the president announced on Friday.
Ms. Tanden, who has been a fixture in Washington for more than two decades as an adviser to President Barack Obama and as the president of the Center for American Progress, will replace Susan Rice as Mr. Biden’s top domestic policy adviser.
“I am pleased to announce that Neera Tanden will continue to drive the formulation and implementation of my domestic policy, from economic mobility and racial equity to health care, immigration and education,” Mr. Biden said in a statement released by the White House.
He thanked Ms. Rice for her service, saying the country owed her “a debt of gratitude.”
For the past year, Ms. Tanden has worked behind the scenes at the White House, managing the daily flow of information that reaches Mr. Biden’s desk. It is an influential but unassuming position that has kept her close to many internal debates over the president’s agenda.
But Ms. Tanden has not always been so low profile. As the leader of the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank in Washington, she was often very public in leading the argument for progressive policies.
And throughout the administration of President Donald J. Trump, she frequently used her Twitter account to lash out at the president, his Republican allies, members of the news media and conservative Democrats.
Her sharp-edged social media presence — her personal account had several hundred thousand followers — and frequent appearances on television gave her an outsize voice pushing for liberal policies in Washington for years.
But it also made her an easy target for critics.
Mr. Biden initially nominated Ms. Tanden to be the director of the Office of Management and Budget, a post that would have given her broad authority to direct government spending on policies she had supported for years.
In March 2021, Ms. Tanden withdrew from consideration for the budget director job, citing a lack of support for confirmation in the Senate. Several senators who had been the target of her Twitter criticism balked at supporting her.
At the time, Mr. Biden vowed that he would find a place for her in the administration, later appointing her to be his staff secretary.
Since then, aides have said Ms. Tanden’s influence inside the West Wing has grown, even as the number of her public appearances shrank considerably.
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