White House Deputy Chief of Staff Rick Dearborn, a former Alabama staffer, will step down early 2018 to pursue a career in the private sector, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly announced Thursday.
Dearborn, who served as chief of staff for former U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, joined President Donald Trump‘s White House in January. There, he oversaw political operations, public outreach and legislative affairs and has been an integral part of Trump’s effort to manage relations on Capitol Hill. Well respected among Republican leadership and their aides, he also had previous executive branch experience, having served as Assistant Secretary of Energy for Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs.
The Wall Street Journal reports, “Rick loyally served the president for two and a half years and brought tremendous energy to the White House staff,” Kelly said in a statement Thursday. “He’s a super guy and it breaks my heart to see him leave, but I look forward to his continued personal friendship and support for the president’s agenda.”
Dearborn told Fox News that his departure is “bittersweet,” but he reportedly told White House officials he saw the final passage of the Republican tax reform bill as a finale for his time in the Administration.
He will stay in the position for the first month or two of the next year.