The US president praised the outgoing Susan Rice for her work on immigration, healthcare and other issues
White House Domestic Policy Adviser Susan Rice is set to leave her job after two years in the role, US President Joe Biden has announced.
During her tenure, Rice has shown “steady leadership,” proving that “there is no one more capable, and more determined to get important things done for the American people,” Biden said in a statement on Monday.
The president singled out the adviser’s efforts in healthcare, gun and police reform, student debt, child care and immigration, among other things.
“We reversed the harmful immigration policies of the previous Administration, reunified more than 670 children separated from their families, and rebuilt the broken system of care for unaccompanied children, putting their safety and well-being first and foremost,” the statement read.
CBS News reported back in 2021 that there were tensions between Rice, who supported more restrictive measures at the US-Mexico border, and other – more liberal – members of the Domestic Policy Counsel. According to Reuters, her push for the faster release of unaccompanied minors to US sponsors has led to some children ending up working in tough illegal jobs.
Biden noted that Rice “makes history” as the only person to serve as both national security adviser and domestic policy adviser. The 58-year-old was previously national security adviser and Washington’s envoy to the UN during the Obama administration.
Her appointment as security adviser in 2013 was shrouded in some controversy. While serving as envoy to the UN, she had blamed the 2012 Benghazi attack, in which the US ambassador to Libya and other officials were killed, on a YouTube video critical of Islam. She later acknowledged that it was a mistake.
Rice was a strong advocate of the US-led intervention in Libya in 2011, which toppled the country’s long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi and plunged the country into chaos. She later called for a similar incursion into Syria.
“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,” Biden said of Rice.
The reasons for the adviser’s departure have not been announced, but it comes amid media reports that Biden could announce his 2024 re-election campaign as early as Tuesday.
Rice said on Twitter that she was “deeply grateful” to the president for trusting and empowering her. “There are no more dedicated public servants” than the current team at the White House, she wrote, adding that she was “proud of all we have been able to accomplish together.”
READ MORE: White House says racism cost US $16 trillion since 2000
A senior administration official told NBC News that Rice’s last day in the job will be May 16. According to Reuters, Biden’s staff secretary and senior adviser Neera Tanden is likely to replace her.
April 25, 2023 at 01:30PM