7 Things to Know About Ebola Czar Ron Klain

He's highly respected within the administration, for one
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 17, 2014 10:23 AM CDT
7 Things to Know About Ebola Czar Ron Klain
This undated photo made available by the Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium, shows the Ebola virus viewed through an electron microscope.   (AP Photo/Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine)

Multiple outlets are reporting that President Obama has chosen Ron Klain as his "Ebola czar," a position he said last night might be necessary. (The White House didn't actually use the term "czar" this morning, though.) What we know about Klain, per CNN, Politico, and Mashable:

  • He left the administration in January 2011. Before that, he was Vice President Joe Biden's chief of staff.
  • Since then, he's worked as president of Case Holdings. That's former AOL Chairman Steve Case's holding firm. (Among its holdings: LivingSocial, Zipcar.)
  • He was also Vice President Al Gore's chief of staff. And he headed Gore's Florida recount committee in 2000.

  • He's worked closely with other bigwigs. He's served as debate preparation advisor to Obama, Gore, Bill Clinton, and John Kerry. Chuck Todd tweets that the White House views Klain as "one of the more knowledgeable former aides who understands wrestling and organizing bureaucracies."
  • Which will come in handy since ... As CNN puts it, Klain "does not have any extensive background in health care, but the job is regarded as a managerial challenge."
  • He's had other managerial successes. In particular, CNN notes, "his supervision of the allocation of funds in the stimulus act—at the time [an] incredible and complicated government undertaking."
  • He was once played by Kevin Spacey. Spacey portrayed Klain in Recount, the HBO film about the 2000 Florida debacle.
Klain will report to White House Homeland Security Advisor Lisa Monaco and National Security Advisor Susan Rice, an official says. Click for the latest Ebola news. (More Ebola stories.)

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