Biden draws from campaign to fill key White House roles
President-elect Joe Biden is rewarding longtime advisers to his presidential campaign with top positions in his White House, moving forward with his transition even as President Trump refuses to concede election defeat.
Biden’s campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon will serve as deputy to chief of staff Ron Klain.
O’Malley Dillon was the first woman to lead a successful Democratic presidential campaign. She took over the primary campaign in mid-March after Biden became the favorite to win the Democratic nomination and then guided his general election campaign against Trump amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), who is expected to announce his resignation from Congress this morning, will serve in a wide-ranging role, both as a senior adviser to Biden and as the director of the White House Office of Public Engagement.
Richmond, the former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, served as co-chair of the Biden campaign from an early stage and remained a visible surrogate for the campaign even when Biden’s presidential ambitions appeared to be on the rocks.
Campaign chairman Steve Ricchetti, a veteran of the Clinton administration and a longtime staffer on Capitol Hill, will serve as counselor to the president. The Biden campaign’s chief strategist, Mike Donilon, will act as a senior adviser to the president, and the campaign’s general counsel, Dana Remus, will serve as counsel to the president.
“I am proud to announce additional members of my senior team who will help us build back better than before,” Biden said. “America faces great challenges, and they bring diverse perspectives and a shared commitment to tackling these challenges and emerging on the other side a stronger, more united nation.”
Biden has also filled several top positions in future first lady Jill Biden’s office and other spots throughout the White House.
Lawyer Julissa Reynoso Pantaleon, a former ambassador in the Obama administration, will be Jill Biden’s chief of staff, and deputy campaign manager Anthony Bernal will be senior adviser. Bernal worked for Jill Biden when she was second lady in the Obama administration.
Rounding out the hires are deputy campaign manager Julie Rodriguez, who also had a senior role on Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’s presidential campaign. She will be director of intergovernmental affairs at the White House.
Biden’s longtime aide and traveling chief of staff Annie Tomasini will be the director of Oval Office Operations.
“President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris have an ambitious and urgent agenda for action,” said Klain. “The team we have already started to assemble will enable us to meet the challenges facing our country on day one.”