Black Staffers are Leaving Biden Administration in High Numbers
Diversity, Equality, Inclusion News Politics

Black White House Staffers are Leaving the Biden Administration in High Numbers

Biden Administration
White House. Image: WhiteHouse.gov

At least 21 Black White House staffers have left the Biden administration since 2021 or are planning to leave soon, and those who are still there are not surprised.

Politico reports Black White House staffers described an administration that gives little support to their superiors and little chance for promotion.

Those who have already announced their departures or left include Vice President Kamala Harris’ former Press Secretary Symone Sanders and seniors aides Tina Flournoy, Ashley EtienneVincent Evans, and Cedric Richmond.

Additionally, Public Engagement Aide Carissa Smith; Gender Policy Aide Kalisha Dessources Figures; National Security Council Senior Director Linda Etim; Digital Engagement Director Cameron Trimble; Associate Counsel Funmi Olorunnipa Badejo; Chief of Staff Ron Klain; advisers Elizabeth Wilkins and Niyat Mulugheta; Press Assistant Natalie Austin; National Economic Council aides Joelle Gamble and Connor Maxwell; and presidential personnel aides Danielle Okai, Reggie Greer, and Rayshawn Dyson have all left the administration.

Deputy White House Counsel Danielle Conley and Council of Economic Advisers aide Saharra Griffin have announced they will leave in the coming weeks.

The situation has turned heads from those who celebrated Biden and Harris for their commitment to diversity when shaping their administration. Three Black White House staffers said the departures have affected morale and led to compounding problems.

“I have heard about an exodus of Black staffers from the White House — ‘Blaxit’ — and I am concerned,” said Spencer Overton, president of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, which tracks government staff diversity numbers. “Black voters accounted for 22% of President Biden’s voters in November 2020. It is essential that Black staffers are not only recruited to serve in senior, mid-level, and junior White House positions but are also included in major policy and personnel decisions and have opportunities for advancement.”

A White House official pushed back on the claims of a dysfunctional White House, saying 14% of White House staffers are Black. The official added that the number is expected to increase as more Black staffers are expected to fill many of the roles that have been vacated.

Additionally, the staffers who have left have largely done so on good terms. Many Black staffers left for graduate school opportunities, different cabinet departments, family issues, and better career opportunities.

In the run-up to the 2020 election, President Biden pledged to create an administration that looks like America and has come through on that promise by creating the most diverse cabinet in U.S. history.


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