Natalie Quillian to serve as Biden’s deputy chief of staff

Newly minted White House chief of staff Jeff Zients has tapped Natalie Quillian, his former deputy on the Covid response team, to serve as deputy White House chief of staff, White House officials told CNN.

Quillian was widely expected to join Zients once again at the White House and now becomes one of three deputy chiefs of staff, alongside Jen O’Malley Dillon and Bruce Reed. The Washington Post was first to report her appointment.

Quillian will focus on managing the implementation of Biden’s major pieces of legislation, working closely with senior advisers Mitch Landrieu and John Podesta to coordinate implementation of the bipartisan infrastructure law and the climate provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act.

“I have asked Natalie for her advice and service many times to help me tackle the most difficult issues we face as a nation,” President Joe Biden said in a statement. “From figuring out how to campaign safely in an unprecedented pandemic to helping steer our government-wide response to tackle Covid and implementing a nationwide mass vaccination program, Natalie has approached each challenge with great skill.”

Zients praised Quillian as “a sharp strategist, an expert at executing, and an unflappable manager under any circumstance.”

“In fact, I’ve found that Natalie is one of the rare leaders that when the challenges get more challenging and the tasks get bigger, she somehow performs even better. She is someone who leads by example,” Zients said. “I am extremely grateful Natalie will be a part of our White House team once more as we tackle the critical task ahead with implementation.”

A White House official said Quillian’s “early focus will be on standing up a general implementation unit in the White House” that will bring together policy, regulatory, legislative, communications and intra-governmental staff to implement the major pieces of legislation and other policy actions.

Before serving as Zients’ deputy on the White House’s Covid-19 response team during the first 15 months of Biden’s term, Quillian served as a deputy campaign manager on Biden’s 2020 campaign.

She previously served during all eight years of President Barack Obama’s administration, working at the Pentagon and the National Security Council before serving as senior adviser to then-White House chief of staff Denis McDonough, who now serves as Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

This story has been updated with additional reporting.

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