(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden is set to name Jeff Zients as his next White House chief of staff Monday, according to people familiar with the matter, elevating the administration’s former Covid-19 czar to one of the highest-profile roles in Washington.

Zients, 56, a former business executive who was one of the chief architects of Biden’s initial Covid-19 team, will replace Ron Klain, who is leaving the post in coming weeks, the people said. Klain will stay on at least through Biden’s Feb. 7 State on the Union address, according to the people. 

The White House chief of staff is among the most powerful figures in Washington, and plays a crucial role in shaping the president’s agenda, liaising with Congress and acting as a gatekeeper.

Zients left the administration in April last year, but returned to Biden’s orbit in an advisory role late last year, working to prepare names of candidates for cabinet and other top positions as Biden braced for expected turnover in the second half of his term, facing a divided Congress and a looming 2024 election.

White House spokespeople declined to comment on Sunday. 

Zients is a longtime figure in Democratic circles. He was a co-chair of Biden’s presidential transition and went on to serve as his Covid czar, overseeing the administration’s early efforts to get some 200 million vaccines distributed in the president’s first 100 days. Part of Zients’s remit was to ensure that the vaccines were distributed equitably.

An entrepreneur and management consultant, Zients was director of the National Economic Council and also acting director of the Office of Management and Budget in Barack Obama’s administration, two roles that could prepare him well for a impending fight with congressional Republicans over spending levels and raising the federal debt ceiling.

Some of Biden’s top advisers said Sunday that Zients is considered a strong administrator, who can get things done at a time when Biden’s team needs to show action and results leading into the 2024 election. 

Zients doesn’t currently hold an administration post that would need to be backfilled, one official noted. He also understands the ebb and flow of a White House after his extended experience during the Obama years. 

He was born in Washington and attended St Albans school there before graduating from Duke University. 

Zients, who had a lucrative private sector career, took a nominal salary of $36,000 to serve as Covid czar, lower than entry-level employees typically make.

He previously worked as a management consultant and then head of the Advisory Board Company, a health care consulting firm. Zients was the founder and managing partner of Portfolio Logic LLC, an investment firm, and he’s sat on several corporate boards, including Facebook’s. In 2005, he was part of an unsuccessful attempt to purchase the Washington Nationals baseball team. 

Zients’s allies said his relationships in the business community will be an asset. The first restaurant Biden visited, two days into his presidency, was Call Your Mother, the Washington bagel shop that Zients previously co-owned. 

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