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President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris announced additional members of the White House staff. Photo: SPENCER PLATT / Getty Images
President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris announced additional members of the White House staff. Photo: SPENCER PLATT / Getty Images

Biden announces three new Latino members of his White House Staff

The Biden-Harris transition team increases Latino diversity in the White House staff by three, after previous announcements.  

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On Tuesday, Jan. 5, President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris announced new members of their incoming White House staff. The announcement includes additions to the Office of the Cabinet Secretary, Office of Political Strategy and Outreach, Office of Public Engagement, and the Office of Management and Administration.

Within the latest list of additions are three Latino members of the White House Staff. 

This is the first announcement of Latino White House staff members since November when Biden announced three Latino senior staff members —  Julie Chávez Rodríguez, Anthony Bernal, and Julissa Reynoso Pantaleon — as part of the next administration’s aides.

The trio consists of longtime aides and advisors to Biden, and the newly announced round of Latino members follow suit, as they either previously served on the Obama-Biden White House staff, or they aided the Biden-Harris campaign in the 2020 Election.

The latest Latino members of the White House staff include Cristóbal J. Alex as Deputy Cabinet Secretary, Emmy Ruiz as Director of Political Strategy & Outreach, and Adrian Saenz as Deputy Director of the Office of Public Engagement

Fun fact: All three are from Texas.

Alex previously served as Senior Advisor to Biden on the Biden-Harris campaign. He is the founding President of the Latino Victory Fund, and other organizations intent on voter outreach and mobilization. A native of El Paso, Texas, Alex is the son of immigrants who started his career as a civil rights Lawyer. 

“Working for President-Elect @JoeBiden on the campaign was the honor of a lifetime. I’m humbled by this appointment. My immigrant father couldn’t make it to Election Day, but I know he is watching and proud of our country and his son,” Alex wrote on Twitter. 

Ruiz is also a former campaign aide to Harris and is an alum of Secretary Hillary Clinton, President Barack Obama, and Democratic Chairman Tom Perez. She has proven experience in mobilizing BIPOC communities to vote, with an emphasis on electing progressive women to office. 

She too responded to the announcement on Twitter. 

“For this small town, lucky immigrant kid… some dreams are so big and great that they never even crossed my mind,” Ruiz wrote, adding that she will “approach each day with the fierceness and humility” her new position merits. 

Saenz was a Latino outreach advisor for the Biden-Harris campaign. He previously served as Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director and Senior Advisor in the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs in the Obama-Biden administration and served as the administration’s National Latino Vote Director. 

“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve in the Biden-Harris White House and humbled to be joining such an amazing team of people committed to defeating COVID, rebuilding the country, making the White House a place where all of America is welcome again, and so much more…” Saenz wrote on Twitter. 

The trio of new staff members received positive feedback from elected officials, particularly those from their home state of Texas, Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-TX), former Secretary Julián Castro, and Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX).

“Congratulations to fellow Texans @emmyruiz, @CristobalJAlex, and @AdrianSaenz

 — all experienced public servants who will represent our nation with poise and purpose. I’m looking forward to working with y’all,” wrote the latter. 
 

While the latest additions increase staff diversity, Alex, Ruiz, and Saenz will work to coordinate across the administration, work with state and local governments and organizations, and engage with the public.

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