Bruce Reed (political operative)

Bruce Reed (born March 16, 1960) is an American political advisor and non-profit administrator who was the president of the Broad Foundation.[1] Prior to assuming that role in December 2013, he served as Chief of Staff to U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and as CEO of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC). On December 22, 2020, it was announced that Reed would serve as a White House deputy chief of staff in the Biden administration, along with Jen O'Malley Dillon.[2]

Bruce Reed
Bruce Reed-VPCOS.png
White House Deputy Chief of Staff
Assumed office
January 20, 2021
Serving with Jen O'Malley Dillon
PresidentJoe Biden
Preceded byEmma Doyle
Chief of Staff to the Vice President
In office
January 14, 2011 – December 1, 2013
Vice PresidentJoe Biden
Preceded byRon Klain
Succeeded bySteve Ricchetti
Director of the Domestic Policy Council
In office
December 20, 1996 – January 20, 2001
PresidentBill Clinton
Preceded byCarol Rasco
Succeeded byJohn Bridgeland
Personal details
Born (1960-03-16) March 16, 1960 (age 61)
Boise, Idaho, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
RelationsMary Lou Reed (mother)
EducationPrinceton University (AB)
Lincoln College, Oxford (MPhil)

Early life and educationEdit

Reed was born in Boise, Idaho and raised in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, the son of former state senator Mary Lou Reed (née Case) and Scott Reed.[3] After graduating from Coeur d'Alene High School, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Princeton University in 1982 and completed a 92-page long senior thesis titled "Dickens, Decency, and Discontent: George Orwell and the Literature of Generous Anger."[4][5] He then earned a master's degree in English Literature from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar.


Reed served as chief speechwriter for Tennessee Senator Al Gore from 1985 to 1989. He was founding editor of the DLC magazine, The New Democrat and served as policy director of the DLC from 1990 to 1991 under DLC Chairman and Governor of Arkansas Bill Clinton. In 1992, he was deputy campaign manager for policy of the Clinton-Gore presidential campaign. During the Clinton presidency, Reed served as chief domestic policy advisor and director of the Domestic Policy Council. Reed oversaw the administration's criminal justice policy, and worked closely with Joe Biden to pass "tough-on-crime" legislation including the 1994 Crime Bill.[6][7] Reed also helped to write the 1996 welfare reform law known as the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act. He is credited with coining the welfare reform catchphrase, "end welfare as we know it." [8]

In 2006, Reed published his book The Plan: Big Ideas for America, co-written by Rahm Emmanuel. A review of the book in Foreign Affairs notes "the most important big idea in the book is that Democrats should stop defending the New Deal and instead concentrate on recasting it for a more mobile society."[9]

Reed is the author of the taunt, "change you can Xerox," from the February 21, 2008 presidential primary debate in Austin, Texas. Reed supplied Senator Hillary Clinton with the phrase to invoke accusations of plagiarism against rival Senator Barack Obama while parodying his campaign slogan: "Change you can believe in."[10]

In the spring of 2010, Reed took a leave of absence from the DLC to become executive director and president of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, a commission tasked with balancing the national budget during the Great Recession.[11]

On January 14, 2011 he was named Chief of Staff to Vice President Joe Biden, succeeding Ron Klain.[12] In November 2013, it was announced that he would step down as chief of staff to become president of the Broad Foundation.[13]

During the 2020 United States presidential election, Reed worked as a technology policy advisor on the Joe Biden 2020 presidential campaign.[14]

On December 22, 2020, it was announced that Reed would serve as a White House deputy chief of staff in the Biden administration, along with Jen O'Malley Dillon.[15]

Selected worksEdit

  • Emanuel, Rahm; Reed, Bruce (2006). The Plan: Big Ideas for America. PublicAffairs. ISBN 978-1-58648-412-5.


  1. ^ Mary Plummer (November 13, 2013). "Broad Foundation names Bruce Reed – Vice-President Joe Biden's chief of staff – its new president". KPCC. Retrieved November 13, 2013.
  2. ^ Cassella, Megan. "Biden announces 6 senior White House staff picks, including Bruce Reed". POLITICO. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  3. ^ "Profile: Bruce Reed's head is in DC, heart in Lake City | The Spokesman-Review". Retrieved December 17, 2020.
  4. ^ "Biden taps longtime adviser and Coeur d'Alene native Bruce Reed as deputy chief of staff | The Spokesman-Review". Retrieved February 14, 2021.
  5. ^ Reed, Bruce Nelson (1982). Dickens, Decency, and Discontent: George Orwell and the Literature of Generous Anger (senior thesis). Princeton University.
  6. ^ "Bruce Reed". Retrieved May 22, 2020 – via National Archives.
  7. ^ "Vice President Biden Announces Bruce Reed as New Chief of Staff". January 14, 2011. Retrieved May 22, 2020 – via National Archives.
  8. ^ Carney, James; Tumulty, Karen (October 30, 2000). "How They Run The Show". CNN. Retrieved April 27, 2010.
  9. ^ "The Plan: Big Ideas for America". Foreign Affairs : America and the World. January 28, 2009. ISSN 0015-7120. Retrieved May 22, 2020.
  10. ^ Baker, Peter; Kornblut, Anne E. (March 5, 2008). "Even in Victory, Clinton Team Is Battling Itself". The Washington Post. pp. A01.
  11. ^ Eggan, Dan (November 10, 2010). "Many deficit commission staffers paid by outside groups". The Washington Post.
  12. ^ VP Biden Names Bruce Reed as New Chief of Staff Jake Tapper, The Washington Post, January 14, 2011
  13. ^ "Vice President Biden Announces New Chief of Staff". Retrieved March 11, 2014 – via National Archives.
  14. ^ Feiner, Lauren (December 2, 2020). "Biden tech advisor: Hold social media companies accountable for what their users post". CNBC. Retrieved December 17, 2020.
  15. ^ Nichols, Hans. "Joe Biden finally announces White House spot for longtime aide Bruce Reed". Axios. Retrieved December 23, 2020.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Carol Rasco
Director of the Domestic Policy Council
Succeeded by
John Bridgeland
Preceded by
Ron Klain
Chief of Staff to the Vice President
Succeeded by
Steve Ricchetti
Preceded by
Emma Doyle
White House Deputy Chief of Staff