White House counsel Dana Remus stepping down after more than a year and a half

The top lawyer in the White House is stepping down after more than a year-and-a-half in the role, NPR has learned.

White House counsel Dana Remus made history by helping to confirm the first black woman for the U.S. Supreme Court. She also set records for appointing dozens of lower court judges with diverse professional experiences, selecting public defenders and civil rights attorneys for posts that carry a lifetime tenure.

Current deputy White House counsel Stuart Delery will step in as her replacement, as part of a small White House staff shuffle as the country enters the final five months before the congressional midterm elections. 

Former Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who at one point was considered as a possible running mate for Biden, will become senior advisor for public engagement, the White House announced on Wednesday. Director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs Julie Chavez Rodriguez will be promoted to senior advisor while continuing her current duties, as well.

Lance Bottoms is the best-known of the group, having led a major city during the pandemic and during the protests in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd, while also dealing with a mass shooting targeting Asian-Americans and a large-scale cyberattack. Biden said she is “bright, honorable, tough and has the integrity required to represent our administration to the American public.”

Remus has worked with Biden for a while, serving as a top adviser in his campaign and, later, his chief lawyer.

“I am immensely grateful for the service of Dana Remus, who has been an invaluable member of my senior staff for the past 3 years and helped reinstate a culture of adherence to the rule of law,” Biden said in a statement on the staffing changes.

An administration official said her replacement, Delery, 53, is the first openly gay person to serve as White House counsel. He’s currently handling such high-profile issues as the administration’s pandemic response.




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