Joe Biden Domestic Policy Adviser Susan Rice Departs

Susan Rice, White House domestic policy director, is leaving after two years, said US President Joe Biden in a statement on Monday, applauding her efforts on healthcare and immigration while emphasizing her historic role as a top domestic and national security aide in two administrations.

“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,” Biden said.

When Biden was vice president, Rice served as national security adviser and US ambassador to the United Nations under then-President Barack Obama. According to a source acquainted with the matter, her last day is scheduled to be May 26.

“As the only person to have served as both National Security Advisor and Domestic Policy Advisor, Susan’s record of public service is unparalleled,” Biden said.

Her appointment to manage domestic objectives “surprised a lot of people,” according to Biden, but he emphasized her efforts on healthcare, gun and police reform, student debt, child care, and immigration, among other topics.

According to the source, Neera Tanden, Biden’s staff secretary and senior adviser, is being considered as a replacement for her.

Joe Biden Domestic Policy Adviser

The move comes as Biden prepares to make his re-election bid official as early as Tuesday.

After promising to reverse practically all of the restrictive regulations enacted by his Republican predecessor, Donald Trump, the Democrat has seen some setbacks on immigration, and the topic is certain to reappear during the 2024 presidential race.

Rice played an influential role shaping Biden’s immigration policy, tending to favor more restrictive measures at the U.S.-Mexico border. A source with knowledge of the issue previously said her push for tougher border enforcement clashed with more liberal staffers on the president’s Domestic Policy Counsel.

During a spike in migrant arrivals after Biden took office in 2021, she pushed for faster releases of unaccompanied children to U.S. sponsors. The practice has come under scrutiny as Reuters and other outlets have documented instances of the children working illegally in grueling jobs.

Biden announced Rice as his top domestic aide before taking office in January 2021 after having considered her as a possible running mate in the 2020 election.

At the time, a source familiar with Biden’s thinking had said he viewed foreign policy and domestic policy as intertwined and valued her experience across the federal government as valuable to enacting his domestic agenda and efforts to rebuild the economic after the COVID-19 pandemic.