I surprised a lot of people when I named Ambassador Susan Rice as my Domestic Policy Advisor. Susan was synonymous with foreign policy, having previously served as National Security Advisor and UN Ambassador. But what I knew then and what we all know now – after more than two years of her steady leadership of the Domestic Policy Council – it’s clear: there is no one more capable, and more determined to get important things done for the American people than Susan Rice.
Thanks to her tireless efforts, we expanded and strengthened the Affordable Care Act, released a comprehensive national mental health strategy, and finally enabled Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices for seniors and cap the cost of insulin at $35. We’ve taken historic actions to reduce gun violence and advance police reform. We are addressing our failed approach to marijuana. We have embedded equity into the work of the entire federal government. We are making college more affordable and accessible and providing student debt relief. We are increasing access to high quality child care and long-term care. We have committed to a bold national strategy to end hunger and reduce diet-related disease by 2030. 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 list goes on, and would not have been possible without Susan.
As the only person to serve as both National Security Advisor and Domestic Policy Advisor, Susan’s record of public service makes history. But 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. I thank Susan for her service, her counsel and her friendship. I will miss her.
I also want to thank her husband Ian and her children Jake and Maris for yet again sharing Susan with us.