Dan Koh to join Biden administration

Courtesy photoFormer Andover Select Board member Dan Koh was sworn in as the Department of Labor's chief of staff Tuesday morning. He held his 6-month-old daughter, Theodora, in his left hand while holding his right hand up looking at a computer screen to virtually be sworn in. 

Former Select Board member Dan Koh is the new chief of staff at the U.S. Department of Labor.

"Honored to be sworn in (with Theodora’s help!) as @USDOL Chief of Staff. Excited and humbled to serve @martyjwalsh and the @JoeBiden - @KamalaHarris administration on behalf of the American people," Koh tweeted out Tuesday morning, along with a photo of him holding his 6-month-old daughter and with his right hand up looking at a computer screen.

Koh, 36, will be chief of staff to incoming Department of Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, who has yet to be confirmed by the whole Senate but passed through his confirmation hearing earlier this month.

Koh resigned from the board Monday night just prior to starting his new job.

"I was recently offered a position to join the Biden-Harris Administration in a role that fights for working people and, after much consideration, have decided to accept that position," Koh said at the meeting. "As someone whose story is only possible because of a country that puts working people first, it is personal to me, and comes at a critical time in our nation’s history."

 Koh will remain an Andover resident with his wife, Amy, and their daughter, Theo, but wanted to resign from the board because of the nature of his new job, he said.

"The Select Board deserves members who can dedicate the appropriate time commensurate with the role," Koh said. "As such, I will be resigning my board membership, effective tomorrow. It is a difficult decision but the right thing to do, and the right thing for Andover."

Koh grew up in Andover and graduated from Phillips Academy. He previously worked as chief of staff to Walsh, the Boston mayor, from 2013 to 2017. Koh left the mayor's office to move back to Andover and run for Congress.

Walsh still is mayor of Boston, pending his confirmation.

In 2018 Koh lost to current Rep. Lori Trahan, D-Westford, by 145 votes, but promised to stay involved in politics. Koh then ran for the Select Board in March 2019, where he overwhelmingly won.

"The experience has been better than I could have ever imagined," Koh said. "I had the opportunity to join four other incredibly thoughtful, passionate, and dedicated public servants in the pursuit to make Andover better — from climate change to economic development to diversity and inclusion. I’ve learned so much and feel so honored to be a part of it." 

Koh was rumored to run for Congress in 2020, but ultimately declined, opting instead to help democrats regain the White House, he previously told The Eagle-Tribune.

During his brief hiatus from professional politics, Koh was the chief operating officer of Boston software company HqO.

The ability to stay involved at a local political level was incredibly rewarding, he said.

"I was also invigorated by the dedicated public servants who work every day to make our town what it is," Koh said, thanking Town Manager Andrew Flanagan and others he's worked with.

"Thank you to the Select Board and the residents of the town for the tremendous honor," Koh said. "I look forward to staying involved as a resident, and am excited for all you’ll do in the future."

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