A worker cleans a fountain on the North Lawn of the White House on Friday, November 19, 2021.
Greg Nash

David Kieve is set to leave his role as public engagement director at the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality, the CEQ confirmed Monday.

Kieve, the husband of White House communications director Kate Bedingfield, was one of the Biden campaign’s point people on outreach to environmentalist and climate groups during the 2020 campaign. His departure comes days after the exit of another CEQ official, Senior Director of Environmental Justice Cecilia Martinez.

“By having both a great understanding of policy and a knack for bringing people together and listening, David has helped ensure that the President’s climate and environmental agenda reflects the ideas and needs of people and communities whose voices haven’t always been heard,” CEQ Chair Brenda Mallory said in a statement Monday. “David has been the type of person to open the White House door a little wider, and to invite people in to the President’s vision for a cleaner, healthier, and more equitable future.”

“David is a critical member of the Biden Administration, who has worked tirelessly on the President’s behalf since the early days of the primary campaign. His advocacy and work on climate issues has made him an important ambassador for the President to the climate community, rallying their support behind our ambitious agenda to tackle the climate crisis, the existential threat of our time.”

The announcement comes during a critical period for the Biden administration’s environmental agenda. In December, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) announced he would not back Democrats’ climate and social spending bill, which contains one of the administration’s most ambitious environmental priorities.

A Republican takeover of either chamber of Congress in November’s midterm elections would likely limit the administration’s environmental agenda to executive actions and the work of federal regulatory agencies.

The CEQ has taken the lead on much of the nonlegislative work on the nonlegislative implementation of that agenda. In October, it proposed to restore parts of the bedrock National Environmental Protection Act that the Trump administration rolled back.

Tags Brenda Mallory CEQ Council on Environmental Quality David Kieve Joe Manchin Kate Bedingfield White House Council on Environmental Quality

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