Biden Announces Members of Senior White House Staff

November 17, 2020 by Dan McCue
Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., right, watches as Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden appears on a "Zoom with Oprah Winfrey" virtual show at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del., Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

WASHINGTON – President-elect Joe Biden announced several appointments to his White House senior staff on Tuesday, assembling his administration even as President Donald Trump continues to refuse to acknowledge the Democrat’s election victory.

Mike Donilon, the chief strategist for Biden’s campaign and a long-time adviser, will serve as a White House senior adviser on speechwriting and messaging.

Dana Remus, who served as general counsel to the Biden-Harris campaign and before that, the Obama Foundation, will now be White House counsel.

Jennifer O’Malley Dillon, Biden’s campaign manager, will serve as deputy chief of staff.

Rep. Cedric Richmond, of Louisiana, will oversee public outreach for the new administration.

The 47-year-old former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus said Tuesday that to leave Congress for the administration was “one of the hardest decisions of his life.”

“I am not leaving the people of Louisiana. I am not leaving the people of the second Congressional District. I am New Orleans through and through. I bleed black and gold,” he said.

The congressman said he would resign from his seat before January 20, the day of Biden’s inauguration.

“This new role will allow me to offer advice to the President when he wants it, maybe sometimes when he doesn’t want it,” he said.

Long-time Biden confidant Steve Ricchetti, will be a counselor.

Julissa Reynoso Pantaleon has been named as chief of staff to the first lady, Dr. Jill Biden.

A partner at the law firm of Winston & Strawn, Pantaleon is a former U.S. Ambassador to Uruguay.

Dr. Biden’s senior adviser will be Anthony Bernal, who was her campaign chief of staff and her husband’s deputy campaign manager.

Julie Chavez Rodriguez, a former national political director for Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’s presidential campaign, will run the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.

Annie Tomasini, now Biden’s traveling chief of staff, will be director of Oval Office operations.

In a statement accompanying the list of names, the Biden-Harris transition team said the selections “demonstrate President-elect Biden’s commitment to building an administration that looks like America, has deep expertise governing, and will be ready to help the president-elect deliver results for working families on Day One.”

President-elect Biden himself said the members of his senior team “bring diverse perspectives and a shared commitment to tackling these challenges and emerging on the other side a stronger, more united nation.”

Incoming White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain added, “President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris have an ambitious and urgent agenda for action. The team we have already started to assemble will enable us to meet the challenges facing our country on day one.” 

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