Rice Stepping Down as Biden Domestic Policy Council

April 24, 2023 by Dan McCue
Rice Stepping Down as Biden Domestic Policy Council
Susan Rice, the director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, in the Rose Garden last week. (Photo by Dan McCue)

WASHINGTON — Susan Rice, the director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, is stepping down from her post, with her last day being May 26, the White House announced Monday.

“As the only person to serve as both national security advisor and domestic policy advisor, Susan’s record of public service makes history,” President Joe Biden said in a lengthy tribute to Rice Monday morning. 

“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,” the president said.

Throughout Biden’s first two years in office, Rice has been at the forefront of advancing the president’s racial equity agenda. She was also a key player behind his student loan cancellation plan, his policy to cap the price of insulin at $35, and a host of other initiatives that comprise the administration’s Build Back Better plan.

In a statement posted to Twitter, Rice said, “I am deeply grateful to the president for trusting and empowering me to serve as his domestic policy advisor.

“I love the team at the Domestic Policy Council and in the White House. There are no more dedicated public servants. I am so proud of all we have been able to accomplish together for the American people,” she said.

Rice, a Washington, D.C., native, served as the nation’s 27th U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, from 2009 to 2013, and as the 23rd U.S. national security advisor, from 2013 to 2017.

Prior to that, she served on President Bill Clinton’s National Security Council staff, from 1993 to 1997, and was the assistant secretary of state for African affairs at the State Department from 1997 to 2001. 

From there, Rice went on to serve as a regional assistant secretary of state, focusing on Africa.

“I surprised a lot of people when I named Ambassador Susan Rice as my domestic policy advisor,” Biden said. 

“But what I knew then and what we all know now — 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.” 

Neera Tanden, currently a senior White House advisor, is said to be on a very short list of potential candidates.

Tanden was a senior staffer to Hillary Clinton during her 2000 election to a U.S. Senate seat in New York, and later worked in Clinton’s Senate office. Tanden advised Clinton during her run for the 2008 Democratic nomination, and later helped her defeat Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., to win the nomination in 2016, and run against Donald Trump in the 2016 general election. In her government service with the Obama administration, Tanden helped draft the Affordable Care Act.

In November 2020, then President-elect Joe Biden announced he would nominate Tanden as Office of Management and Budget director. However, Tanden asked for the nomination to be withdrawn after Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., announced that he would not vote in favor of confirmation. In May 2021, Tanden was appointed as a senior advisor to the president, and was later named as White House staff secretary in October 2021.

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and @DanMcCue

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