Biden’s Communications Director, Kate Bedingfield, is leaving the Administration, the White House said on Friday.
“Since my time as vice president, Kate has been a loyal and trusted adviser, through thick and thin,” Biden said in a statement. “She was a critical strategic voice from the very first day of my presidential campaign in 2019 and has been a key part of advancing my agenda in the White House.”
Labor Secretary Marty Walsh is also leaving the Biden Administration, to lead the NHL Players’ Association.
Biden’s Chief of Staff Ron Klain recently departed the Administration.
Joe Biden’s top Economic Advisor Brian Deese is also stepping down from his role.
Full statement from the White House:
Kate Bedingfield, who has served as White House Communications Director since President Biden’s inauguration, will leave the White House at the end of February and will be replaced as White House Communications Director by Ben LaBolt.
Bedingfield, who served as then-Vice President Joe Biden’s communications director in 2015-2016 and then as Deputy Campaign Manager for his successful 2020 presidential race, has played an integral role in the successes of the first two years of the Biden-Harris Administration, from the American Rescue Plan through the Inflation Reduction Act.
Prior to her time working under the President, Bedingfield held three White House communications leadership roles during the Obama-Biden Administration: Associate Communications Director, Deputy Director of Media Affairs, and Director of Rapid Response. She was also the vice president of communications for the Motion Picture Association of America, vice president of communications at Monumental Sports and Entertainment and the director of communications for Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s successful campaign for the US Senate in 2008. Bedingfield is a Georgia native and University of Virginia alumna.
Bedingfield will be succeeded by Ben LaBolt, who has worked with President Biden in this administration and during the Obama-Biden years.
Ben LaBolt served as the head of communications for the confirmation of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, and also served during the Biden-Harris transition as an advisor on nominations.
LaBolt has served on 3 presidential campaigns, including as a senior national spokesperson for Obama-Biden in 2008 and as the Obama-Biden national press secretary in 2012. LaBolt also has congressional experience in both chambers, as the communications director for Sherrod Brown’s first election to the Senate in 2006, the press secretary for Rep. Jan Schakowsky and, in 2007, the Senate press secretary for then-Senator Barack Obama.
He currently leads a communications and marketing agency with over 200 staff and offices across the country that specializes in integrating strategic communications and digital marketing strategies to reach and persuade people on the platforms where they consume information.
LaBolt is a native of La Grange, Illinois, and an alumnus of Middlebury College. He is making history as the first openly gay White House communications director.
“Since my time as Vice President, Kate has been a loyal and trusted adviser, through thick and thin,” said President Biden. “She was a critical strategic voice from the very first day of my presidential campaign in 2019 and has been a key part of advancing my agenda in the White House. The country is better off as a result of her hard work and I’m so grateful to her – and to her husband and two young children – for giving so much. Ben has big shoes to fill. I look forward to welcoming him back as a first-rate communicator who’s shown his commitment to public service again and again, and who has a cutting-edge understanding of how Americans consume information. I saw him fight for Justice Jackson, and he put his all into helping us make history confirming our cabinet and subcabinet nominees. I’m proud to have him rejoin this team.”
FOX News reported:
The White House on Friday announced that President Biden’s communications director Kate Bedingfield, who has been with the president since his 2021 inauguration, will step down at the end of this month.
Bedingfield will be succeeded by Ben LaBolt, a former adviser to President Barack Obama and current strategist for the communications agency Bully Pulpit Interactive.
Prior to serving as White House communications director, Bedingfield worked as then-Vice President Biden’s communications director in 2015-2016, and then found a role on his successful 2020 presidential campaign as deputy campaign manager.
It’s the second time Bedingfield was expected to depart. She decided not to leave the White House last summer after signaling that she would.
Before working for Biden, Bedingfield served in the Obama White House as associate communications director, deputy director of media affairs, and director of rapid response.
She was also the vice president of communications for the Motion Picture Association of America, vice president of communications at Monumental Sports and Entertainment and the director of communications for New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s successful campaign for Senate in 2008.
Bedingfield, a Georgia native and University of Virginia alumna, is next expected to take on a new strategic role with Biden’s as-of-yet undeclared re-election campaign.
“I look forward to welcoming him back as a first-rate communicator who’s shown his commitment to public service again and again, and who has a cutting-edge understanding of how Americans consume information,” Biden said. “I saw him fight for Justice Jackson, and he put his all into helping us make history confirming our cabinet and subcabinet nominees. I’m proud to have him rejoin this team.”
In several tweets, LaBolt said he is “extremely grateful for the opportunity” and “honored” to serve Biden. He will be the first openly gay man to occupy the position of White House chief of staff.
“This is a tipping point moment for the nation — for our values and rights, our democracy, and for the middle class. I’m ready to suit up and help the President and team, which includes many longtime friends and colleagues, finish the job. I will give it my all,” LaBolt said.
The announcement comes amid a shakeup of senior White House staff following the 2022 midterm elections, including the departure of Biden’s first chief of staff, Ron Klain. Jeff Zients was tapped to replace Klain, and it’s possible more staffing changes are imminent.