Steve Ricchetti

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Person.png Steve Ricchetti  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Steve Ricchetti.jpg
Alma materMiami University, George Mason University School of Law
SpouseAmy Ricchetti
Counselor to President Biden, lobbyist

Employment.png Counselor to the President Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
20 January 2021 - Present
Appointed byJoe Biden

Employment.png Chief of Staff to the Vice President of the United States

In office
1 December 2013 - 20 January 2017
Appointed byJoe Biden

Employment.png White House Deputy Chief of Staff

In office
November 1998 - January 2001
Appointed byBill Clinton

Steven J. Ricchetti is an American political aide serving as a Counselor to the President under President Joe Biden.[1] He was the chairman of Joe Biden's 2020 presidential campaign.[2]

Ricchetti was previously Chief of Staff to Vice President Biden during the Obama administration and Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations under President Bill Clinton. In between stints in Democratic administrations, Ricchetti has worked as a lobbyist.

Early life and education

Steven J. Ricchetti[3] grew up in Westlake, Ohio and graduated from Westlake High School.[4]

He received his undergraduate degree from Miami University in Ohio (where he served as student body president[5]) in 1979, and his J.D. from the George Mason University School of Law.[6][7]


Ricchetti led the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association's political department from 1987 to 1989 and was executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee from 1990 to 1992.[3][7] In the latter role, Ricchetti oversaw the upset victory of Democratic candidate Harris Wofford in the 1991 special election for Senate in Pennsylvania.[7][8]

From January 1993 to February 1996, he was a White House staffer in the Clinton administration, holding the title of Deputy Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs. In this role, Ricchetti was President Clinton's principal liaison to the Senate.[3][7] Ricchetti conducted work for the administration on the economic recovery act of 1993, the Telecommunications Act of 1996, and other legislation.[7]

From 1996 to 1998, Ricchetti was in the private sector, engaged in lobbying for clients[3] at the governmental relations firm Public Strategies Washington (PSW).[9] In September 1998, he returned to the White House, where he was tasked with handling relations with congressional Democrats amidst the impeachment proceedings against Clinton.[3] In January 1999, Ricchetti became deputy White House chief of staff (succeeding John Podesta) and gained a larger portfolio.[3] In 2000, Ricchetti was appointed to President Clinton's task force on China PNTR (permanent normalized trade relations) during the president's last year. Along with Commerce Secretary William M. Daley, Ricchetti "led the Administration's successful campaign to secure permanent normal trade relations with China"[7][10] and coordinated with leaders of major U.S. corporations, such as Boeing, American Online and Intel to "sell the benefits of the trade accord to Congress and the public.”[11]

In January 2001, Ricchetti founded and ran Ricchetti, Inc., a government relations (lobbying) and political consulting firm, with his brother Jeff Ricchetti.[7][12] Over the following years, Ricchetti's firm represented a number of clients, including AT&T, Eli Lilly & Co., the American Hospital Association, United Technologies, the American Council of Life Insurers and the American Bankers Association.[13]

In March 2012 he was appointed to be counselor to Vice President Joe Biden.[13] Although Ricchetti had deregistered as a congressional lobbyist in late 2008 shortly after the election of Obama and Biden to the presidency and vice presidency, respectively.[13] Ricchetti's appointment was controversial due to President Obama's promise to not appoint lobbyists[14][15] and his issuance of "a tough new ethics policy meant to curb the revolving door between his administration and K street."[13] Because Ricchetti had not lobbied personally for over two years, he did not require a waiver from the administration's policy.[13] A statement from Biden's office in 2012 said that since 2008, Ricchetti had "advised clients on public policy, communications strategy, and grassroots efforts but did not act as a lobbyist with the federal government on behalf of any client."[16] The Washington Post reported Ricchetti earned $1.8 million from his firm, Ricchetti Inc., the year before his appointment, and was owed another $217,000 from work he completed the same year as his appointment.[16] In December 2013, Ricchetti succeeded Bruce Reed as chief of staff to the vice president, with the rank of Assistant to the President.[17]

Ricchetti was the chief planner for a possible Biden run in the 2016 presidential election. (Biden ultimately decided not to run.)[18][19]

Ricchetti was the chairman of Biden's presidential campaign in the 2020 elections, leading the campaign's efforts to raise funds from Wall Street financiers.[20]

On November 16, 2020, it was announced that Ricchetti would become a Counselor to the President in the incoming Biden administration.[1]

Other activities

Ricchetti is on the board of advisors of the Center for Congress at Indiana University.[7] He was formerly on the boards of the Center for American Progress, Trust for the National Mall, and Bloomberg Government before stepping down from those positions to take a post in Biden's office as Counselor to the Vice President.[16]

Personal life

Ricchetti lives in McLean, Virginia. He is married to his wife Amy and has four children.[7]


  1. a b
  3. a b c d e f Robert Pear & John Broder, In a Lobby-Happy Washington, Politics Can Be Even Thicker Than Blood, New York Times (September 5, 2000).
  4. Stephen Koff, Joe Biden's Buckeyes: the vice president really likes hiring Ohioans, Cleveland Plain Dealer (April 4, 2016).
  5. Stephen Koff, Westlake native becomes chief of staff for Vice President Joe Biden, Cleveland Plain Dealer (November 13, 2016).
  6. Mike Allen, Playbook, Politico (November 13, 2013).
  7. a b c d e f g h i Steve Ricchetti: President, Ricchetti, Inc. Archived April 19, 2016, at the Wayback Machine., Center for Congress at Indiana University (accessed April 5, 2016).
  8. Robert Zausner, "Casey's Backstage Role Was A Key To Senate Win," Philadelphia Inquirer (December 10, 1991).
  9. Bill McAllister, McCurry, Caught in the Texas Net, Washington Post (November 19, 1998).
  13. a b c d e T.W. Farnam, Biden hires former lobbyist, Washington Post (March 5, 2012).
  14. Dana Milbank, Settling in to Washington's ways, Washington Post (March 7, 2012).
  15. Emmarie Huetteman, Former Lobbyist Becomes Biden Chief of Staff, New York Times (November 13, 2013).
  16. a b c
  17. Vice President Biden Announces New Chief of Staff, White House Press Office (November 13, 2013).
  18. Colleen McCain Nelson & Carol E. Lee, Joe Biden Supporters Ramp Up a Campaign-in-Waiting, Wall Street Journal (September 13, 2015).
  19. Edward-Isaac Dovere, The man plotting Biden 2016: Steve Ricchetti is the man behind the vice president and possible late-entry presidential candidate, Politico (September 2, 2015).