WASHINGTON, Dec 8 (Reuters) - The U.S. Ebola coordinator Ron Klain plans to return to his private sector job by the end of February, capping speculation that the seasoned political aide would play a broader White House role for the rest of President Barack Obama’s tenure.
An administration official speaking on condition of anonymity said Klain was hired as a “special government employee” to do the job, a classification used by government agencies to bring consultants on board for a maximum term of 130 days.
Klain’s first day on the job was Oct. 22, meaning his term will be up by March 1. A lawyer who previously served as chief of staff to vice presidents Joe Biden and Al Gore, Klain plans to return to his job as general counsel at Revolution LLC, a venture capital firm owned by AOL co-founder Steve Case.
Klain, lauded by Democrats for his ability to coordinate complex and thorny projects, was brought in as Ebola “czar” as the White House sought to show it was on top of the crisis.
At the time, the White House said the job would be temporary and Klain told MSNBC in an interview in November that he would be returning to private life after the Ebola crisis was contained.
But he was cited as a potential replacement for senior figures in the White House, such as chief of staff Denis McDonough, should there be a staff overhaul after the November elections. No shake-up has transpired, and there is no indication that McDonough plans to leave soon.
“There was lots of unfounded media speculation, but Ron’s plan all along has been to return to the private sector. There was no change in plans,” the official said. (Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Alan Crosby)