The White House counsel will be Dana Remus, who previously served as the campaign’s chief counsel and was also a deputy White House counsel for ethics under President
O’Malley Dillon, Biden’s campaign manager, will be a deputy chief of staff and Ricchetti, Biden’s campaign chairman, will be counselor to the president. Donilon will be a senior adviser, as will Richmond, who will also have the title of director of the Office of Public Engagement. Bloomberg News first reported Richmond and Ricchetti’s roles on Monday.
Annie Thomasini, Biden’s traveling chief of staff during the campaign, will be director of Oval Office Operations and Julie Chavez Rodriguez, former Biden deputy campaign manager and top aide on Vice President-elect
Incoming first lady
Biden has said he planned to name key White House aides before turning to cabinet jobs that require Senate confirmation. He’s following his recent predecessors’ lead in relying heavily on his successful campaign team to staff the White House.
O’Malley Dillon is the first woman to run a winning Democratic presidential campaign and is credited with growing Biden’s small primary campaign into a general election operation just as the coronavirus pandemic hit the country.
Ricchetti was Biden’s vice presidential chief of staff at the end of the Obama presidency and helped him prepare for a potential 2016 presidential run and then again for his 2020 campaign.
Biden had to fight to bring Ricchetti into the Obama White House because his then-recent history as a registered lobbyist ran afoul of the administration’s ethics rules. Ricchetti hasn’t been a registered lobbyist for more than a decade, but progressive groups pointed to that history to campaign against his potential appointment as White House chief of staff.
Biden’s picks of Ricchetti and Richmond are controversial among progressive groups.
“If Joe Biden continues making corporate-friendly appointments to his White House, he will risk quickly fracturing the hard-earned goodwill his team built with progressives to defeat
Richmond, who’s been an ally of oil and gas companies, also drew criticism from an environmental group who said he took donations from the fossil fuel industry.
Sunrise Movement co-founder and Executive Director Varshini Prakash said that “today feels like a betrayal.”
Richmond is also a co-chair of the Biden-Harris transition team, and is close to South Carolina Representative
Richmond is likely to be one of the most senior Black officials in the Biden administration. Biden’s inner circle is comprised largely of White men, many of whom have worked with him for decades.
Richmond will likely be one of the few sitting members of Congress to join the administration, given the Democrats’ narrow majority in the House and slim minority in the Senate, and so he may be called on to play a role in negotiations with Congress.
(Adds criticism of Richmond in 13th paragraph)
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