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The West Wing of the White House welcomes this Latina leader. Photo: Pixabay.

Julie Chávez Rodríguez and her new role as Senior Advisor to the Biden Administration

Rodríguez also serves as director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.

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President Joe Biden recently named Julie Chávez Rodríguez, granddaughter of renowned civil rights leader César Chávez, as the new Senior Advisor to this Administration and presidential assistant along with Mike Donilon, Steve Ricchetti, and Anita Dunn, who recently rejoined the team. 

Chávez Rodríguez, one of the few Latinas who has risen to a senior position on the West Wing staff, putting her on a par with her top attendees, has also continued to serve in the position she held prior to President's Biden announcement, as director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.

She is now part of a broader group of advisers, including Chief of Staff Ron Klain, Deputy Chief of Staff Jennifer O'Malley Dillon, and Communications Director Kate Bedingfield, who consult daily with the President on a wide range of communications, domestic and foreign, as well as various political issues.

Invoking the spirit of César Chávez

Chávez Rodríguez's appointment came amid other personnel changes that included the addition of Keisha Lance Bottoms, former mayor of Atlanta, who will lead the White House Office of Public Engagement.

“The changes come as the White House is staffing up again for what is poised to be a rocky season for an increasingly unpopular president trying to stave off widespread Democratic Party losses in the midterm elections. Several senior staffers, many of whom worked on Mr. Biden's 2020 campaign or with him during the Obama administration, have departed for the private sector in recent weeks, others are expected to continue shifting into new roles and others may eventually move to the president's 2024 anticipated reelection campaign,” it was pointed out by CBS News.

Within her current duties, Chávez Rodríguez maintains constant contact with legislators, mayors, county executives, and governors around the nation to discuss the policies of the Biden administration, as well as to offer support after natural disasters or other emergencies.

One of her biggest responsibilities is to “sell” the bipartisan infrastructure plan and the American Rescue Plan as viable options for state and local leaders to apply for or take advantage of record levels of federal funding mandated by law.

“It's a decision likely to help assuage at least some concern among Latino lawmakers and civil rights organizations — usually expressed only privately but often directly to the president's top aides — that Mr. Biden is missing valuable and important real-world and political perspective by not placing more Latinos in senior roles,” underlined CBS.

Chávez Rodríguez's Career

Chávez Rodríguez served as deputy for the office of intergovernmental affairs during the Obama administration, after working on the 2008 Obama-Biden campaign.

When the Obama administration ended, Chávez Rodríguez joined then-Senator Kamala Harris to serve as her state director. She later worked on the Harris presidential campaign as a traveling chief of staff, a connection that eventually led her back to Biden.

“While there are four Latinos in the Biden Cabinet — the most to ever serve a president concurrently — those in senior West Wing positions are rare. Maria Echaveste served as a deputy chief of staff for policy in the final years of President Clinton's term. Rodriguez will be the first since to reach the senior adviser and assistant role,” highlighted CBS.

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