Harris Announces Chief Of Staff And Two Senior Staffers, All Women

Topline

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Thursday announced three new members of her senior staff, all of whom are women and two of whom are women of color, noting she and President-elect Joe Biden are committed to building an experienced team that “looks like America.”

Key Facts

Tina Flournoy, who is currently chief of staff to former President Bill Clinton and has worked for multiple Democratic politicians, including as part of the Clinton administration, will become Harris’ chief of staff. 

Ambassador Nancy McEldowney, who has served in the U.S. Foreign Service for more than 30 years and was U.S. Ambassador to Bulgaria, will be Harris’ national security advisor.

Rohini Kosoglu, who has worked with Harris as her chief of staff in the Senate and for her presidential campaign, will be her domestic policy advisor. 

Crucial Quote

“Together with the rest of my team, today’s appointees will work to get this virus under control, open our economy responsibly and make sure it lifts up all Americans, and restore and advance our country’s leadership around the world,” Harris said in the statement. 

Surprising Fact

Biden and Harris announced their senior communications team last week, noting that for the first time in history the roles will be filled entirely by women.

Tangent

Multiple civil rights groups have urged Biden to select more Black and Hispanic people for the remaining Cabinet roles and other high-profile roles in the administration and expressed concern that people of color have primarily been chosen for lower-ranking roles, according to CNN. Biden has chosen four people of color so far: UN Ambassador nominee Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Office of Management and Budget Director nominee Neera Tanden, Secretary of Homeland Security nominee Alejandro Mayorkas and Council of Economic Advisors Chair nominee Cecelia Rouse. If confirmed, Mayorkas would be the first Hispanic person in the role and Tanden would be the first woman of color and the first South Asian person in the role.

Further Reading

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris Announces Members of White House Senior Staff   

Biden faces increasing pressure to diversify his Cabinet (CNN)

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