The White House is losing yet another top aide, with Susan Rice, the top domestic policy adviser to President Joe Biden, announcing on Monday that she would be departing in May.
Rice had broad power on how the Biden administration approached racial inequality, immigration and health care – among other issues – in her position as the White House Domestic Policy Council’s director.
Rice served in the Obama administration as both a U.N. ambassador and as a national security adviser, making her the only person in history to have served in both of those positions. In those roles, she worked very closely with Biden, who was vice president then.
For a while, Rice was even considered to be a leading candidate to be Biden’s running mate during the 2020 president election.
In a statement that announced that Rice would be leaving the White House, Biden said:
“After more than two years of her steady leadership of the Domestic Policy Council – it’s clear: there is no one more capable, and more determined to get important things done for the American people than Susan Rice.”
In her two years on the job, Rice led many major aspects of Biden’s domestic policy agenda. This includes policing, racial equity, health care, the infrastructure bill that totaled $1 trillion and gun safety. She was at the lead of these, and many more, legislative and executive actions undertaken by the Biden administration.
Biden pointed this out in his statement, saying:
“As the only person to serve as both National Security Advisor and Domestic Policy Advisor, Susan’s record of public service makes history. But what sets her apart as a leader and colleague is the seriousness with which she takes her role and the urgency and tenacity she brings, her bias towards action and results, and the integrity, humility and humor with which she does this work. I thank Susan for her service, her counsel and her friendship. I will miss her.”
Rice thanked Biden in a tweet on Monday, writing:
“I am so proud of all we have been able to accomplish together for the American people.”
Rice will stay in her position until May 26, at which point she will depart.
People who are close to the situation have told media outlets that no replacement has been selected just yet. Neera Tanden, who serves as the staff secretary right now, is one of the leading contenders for the job, though.
Whoever takes over the post after Rice leaves will enter a position that’s much different than when Rice took over. Congress is now divided, with Republicans having the majority in the House, so there is much lower expectations that the Biden administration will be able to pass any major legislation.
As such, the new domestic policy adviser will work to implement the Biden administration policies that have already been passed.
Senior officials in the Biden administration told NBC News that Rice took her job with the intention of only staying two years, so her departure shouldn’t be shocking to those inside the White House, then.