Kamala Harris’ deputy chief of staff the latest aide to depart veep’s office

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Kamala Harris' deputy chief of staff the latest aide to depart veep's office

Vice President Kamala Harris’ deputy chief of staff has joined the growing list of departures from her office, the White House confirmed Monday.

Michael Fuchs will remain in his role until early May to “ensure a smooth transition,” and will formally announce his future plans at a later date, according to an internal email.

“It’s been the honor of a lifetime to serve in this administration, working for the Vice President and President on behalf of the American people,” Fuchs wrote.

“Fifteen months later, it’s almost difficult to recall the magnitude of the challenges we faced when we came in, from an unprecedented pandemic to historically difficult economic circumstances. And it is thanks to the work of this administration — and all of you — that our country has had such success in tackling these challenges and turning things around.”

A White House official confirmed Fuchs’ departure to The Post.

“The Vice President is grateful for Michael’s tireless work, leadership, and the many miles he traveled domestically and internationally as we lifted up families and strengthened relationships with allies abroad,” Harris communications director Jamal Simmons said. “Our entire team will miss Michael as he begins this next chapter.”

Michael Fuchs.
Michael Fuchs will remain in his role as deputy chief of staff until early May to “ensure a smooth transition.”
justsecurity.org

Fuchs’ announcement marks the 11th departure from the vice president’s staff since June. Previous staffers to leave include director of digital strategies Rajun Kaur, director of advance Karly Satkowiak, deputy director of advance Gabrielle DeFranceschi, communications director Ashley Etienne, chief spokesperson Symone Sanders, director of press operations Peter Velz, deputy director of public engagement Vince Evans, speechwriting director Kate Childs Graham, deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh, and national security adviser Nancy McEldowney.

Etienne and Sanders have since been replaced in their respective roles by Simmons and Kirsten Allen.

Fuchs previously worked as a foreign policy adviser under President Bill Clinton and served in multiple senior roles at the State Department during the Obama administration. 

Kamala Harris.
Michael Fuchs’ announcement marks the 11th departure from Vice President Kamala Harris’ staff since June.
Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

The White House has also confirmed the hiring of Meghan Groob to be the vice president’s new chief speechwriter. Groob will be replacing Graham, who left in February.

Groob previously worked as an editorial director at Gates Ventures and as a speechwriter for Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. She also worked as the director of speechwriting for then-Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker during the Obama administration.

It is not uncommon for staffers in the White House to shift positions during and after the first year of an administration, particularly ahead of the midterm elections.

However, questions have been raised as many of last year’s departures from the vice president’s office coincided with growing criticism over her reported treatment of staff.

The White House has insisted the departures are in keeping with usual levels of Washington churn. 

“Working in the first year of a White House is exciting and rewarding but it’s also grueling and exhausting,” press secretary Jen Psaki said following the departures of Sanders and Etienne late last year.

“If you look at past precedent, it’s natural for staffers who have thrown their heart and soul into a job to be ready to move on to a new challenge after a few years and that is applicable to many of these individuals,” she added.

Psaki herself is reportedly preparing to leave the administration in May for a hosting gig with MSNBC. 

Kamala Harris's office.
Many of last year’s departures from Vice President Kamala Harris’ office coincided with growing criticism over her reported treatment of staff.
Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson

She declined to confirm the move on Friday, telling reporters, “you can’t get rid of me yet.”

“I have nothing to confirm about my length of public service or planned service, or anything about consideration about next plans,” she added.

It is unclear who will replace Psaki on the White House podium.

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