White House senior adviser Neera Tanden has been appointed Biden’s staff secretary, reports NBC News.
The appointment makes her a key gatekeeper for the president and is considered a stepping stone to a higher position.
Others who have held the position include Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and John Podesta who became President Clinton’s chief of staff.
“She is uniquely suited to the role because she is a lawyer, which is important, she is tough, and she will discipline important decision-making inside the White House,” Podesta said to the Washington Post. “You have to be able to spot that there is something missing, some perspective that wasn’t reflected.”
Tanden will also retain her role as a senior adviser, a job she accepted after Republicans blocked her nomination to run the Office of Management and Budget over her previously partisan comments about the GOP.
Ultimately, it was the announced opposition from Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) which doomed her nomination.
According to Politico, some supporters blamed sexism toward women nominees and nominees of color. Tandem is Indian American. They pointed out that Republicans dismissed partisan and insensitive comments from then-President Donald Trump.
Tanden would have been the first Asian American to hold the position of director of OMB. Currently, there are no Asian Americans serving cabinet positions in the White House.
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