Bedford High School graduate Neera Tanden has a new job – in the White House.
Tanden, who requested that her name be withdrawn from consideration to head the Federal Office of Management and Budget on March 1, this week began her new role as a senior advisor to President Joe Biden.
According to the online magazine Politico, Tanden will hold various duties, with a particular focus on “handling any potential fallout from Republican lawsuits challenging the Affordable Care Act at the Supreme Court.”
The Washington Post pointed out that “Tanden worked as a senior adviser in the Department of Health and Human Services during the Obama administration and helped draft parts of the former president’s signature health care law.”
News reports said Tanden, a 1987 BHS alumna, will also launch a review of the U.S. Digital Service, which the White House says has the mission of making government accessible online.
Tanden most recently served as president and CEO of the Center for American Progress. She has been close to Democratic Party leadership since her involvement with former Sen. Hilary Clinton’s unsuccessful campaign for the 2008 presidential nomination.
Tanden was criticized by many Republican senators during hearings on her nomination for her history of hyper-partisan derogatory messages on social media, for which she apologized. But it was the announced opposition of centrist Sen. Joseph Manchin, the Democrat from West Virginia, that ultimately made her ascent to the OMB untenable.
According to CNN, at that time “Biden said in a statement that….she would still serve in his administration.” Politico noted that “Chief of Staff Ron Klain has great respect for Tanden.”
During her Senate hearings, Tanden cited the circumstances of her childhood in Bedford as instrumental in her political worldview. For a time, she was part of a single-parent family living in subsidized housing that depended on community and government food assistance.
As a Bedford High senior, Tanden was recognized by the Daughters of the American Revolution with its Good Citizen Award.