Kamala Harris’ national security adviser resigns

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Kamala Harris' national security adviser resigns

Vice President Kamala Harris’ national security adviser has become the latest high-profile staffer to leave the veep’s office, according to a report.

Nancy McEldowney, who has worked for Harris since she took office, will be replaced by her deputy Philip Gordon, said an internal memo obtained by Reuters on Monday.

McEldowney reportedly said in the memo that she was stepping down to “focus on some pressing personal matters.”

“This was a difficult decision because I am so deeply committed to the work we do and the crucial national interest we serve,” she wrote. “But after more than a year, this is the right decision for my family.”

It wasn’t immediately clear when McEldowney’s resignation would take effect, though she said she wasn’t “rushing out the door.” A senior administration official told Reuters her last day hasn’t yet been confirmed.

McEldowney, a former ambassador to Bulgaria and onetime director of the State Department’s Foreign Service Institute, had advised both Harris and President Biden on a range of global issues — including the withdrawal from Afghanistan, negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris's National Security Adviser Nancy McEldowney is stepping down from her role to "focus on personal matters."
Vice President Kamala Harris’ national security adviser Nancy McEldowney is stepping down from her role to “focus on personal matters.”
U.S. Department of State
Vice President Kamala Harris (center) and Nancy McEldowney (right) meet with Women Entrepreneurs at the Sofitel Reforma Hotel on June 8, 2021 in Mexico City.
Vice President Kamala Harris (center) and Nancy McEldowney (right) meet with female entrepreneurs at the Sofitel Reforma Hotel on June 8, 2021, in Mexico City.
Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

She had also accompanied Harris on a string of official visits to Central America, Asia and Europe that featured a series of high-profile gaffes and awkward moments.

In a statement, Harris said McEldowney had given her “invaluable counsel” and expressed gratitude for “her exceptional talent, deep expertise, and leadership navigating complex challenges.”

McEldowney is the 10th key official to depart Harris’ office since this past June, along with 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 and deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh. 

Vice President Kamala Harris (right) and National Security Adviser Nancy McEldowney in the West Wing of the White House on January 22, 2021.
Vice President Kamala Harris (right) and national security adviser Nancy McEldowney in the West Wing of the White House on January 22, 2021.
Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson
Secretary Antony Blinken (right) meets with President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and Nancy McEldowney (left).
Secretary of State Antony Blinken (from right) meets with President Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and Nancy McEldowney.
State Department Photo by Ron Przysucha/ Public Domain
Nancy McEldowney is the tenth member of Kamala Harris' staff to resign.
Nancy McEldowney is the 10th member of Kamala Harris’ staff to resign.
JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

While it is not uncommon for White House staffers to shift roles after the first year of an administration, the Harris departures have come under additional scrutiny in the wake of multiple reports about bullying and her treatment of staff.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended the departures late last year as “natural.”

Gordon, McEldowney’s successor, worked on the National Security Council in the Clinton and Obama administrations and also served as assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs during Obama’s first term.

With Post wires

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