Vice President Biden announced Wednesday that his chief of staff, Bruce Reed, will step down next month and be replaced by a senior adviser, Steve Ricchetti, a former lobbyist and top official in the Clinton White House.
Before joining Biden’s staff in March 2012, Ricchetti ran a public affairs and lobbying firm in Washington. He had officially deregistered as a lobbyist at the end of 2008, so he did not need to obtain a waiver that the administration requires for officials who have been lobbyists within two years of being hired. His firm did work on behalf of AT&T, drugmaker Eli Lilly and other private-sector clients.
During the Clinton administration, Ricchetti served as deputy chief of staff and deputy assistant to the president for legislative affairs in the White House.
Biden also announced that communications director Shailagh J. Murray will be promoted to be his deputy chief of staff. Murray, a former journalist at the Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post who joined the White House in May 2011, also will continue her communications role.
Biden’s restructured leadership team will help shape the final three years of his vice presidency as he considers whether to run for the top job in 2016.
“Steve and I have been friends for years, and I was thrilled when he joined my staff as counselor,” Biden said in a statement Wednesday. “He has a wealth of experience in policy and government, he knows Congress, and he has strong relationships with the West Wing staff. I’m lucky to have him.”
Said Ricchetti: “It’s a privilege to serve the vice president and I look forward to this new challenge.”
Reed is leaving to become president of the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, a major philanthropic organization focused on education.
“The middle class is stronger, the tax code is fairer, the deficit is smaller, and America is safer because of what this administration has accomplished during his time here,” Biden said of Reed.
Since joining Biden’s staff nearly three years ago, Reed has been a key White House negotiator on a series of budget clashes with Republicans.
He also helped coordinate the administration’s attempts to enact more stringent gun-control rules through executive actions and through proposed legislation. The latter effort failed in Congress.