Biden's Diverse Staff Picks Include Out Social Secretary

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Wednesday November 25, 2020

President-elect Joe Biden removes his face mask as he arrives to introduce his nominees and appointees to key national security and foreign policy posts at The Queen theater, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020, in Wilmington, Del.
President-elect Joe Biden removes his face mask as he arrives to introduce his nominees and appointees to key national security and foreign policy posts at The Queen theater, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020, in Wilmington, Del.  (Source:AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Among the diverse staff picks made so far by President-elect Joe Biden is Carlos Elizondo, whom Biden has chosen for the role of White House social secretary, reports political news outlets The Hill.

Elizondo, an event planner who is openly gay and lives in Washington, D.C. with his partner, is a veteran of the White House, having "worked as a social secretary for the Bidens throughout the Obama administration," The Hill notes.

But Elizondo's White House service has even deeper roots than the Obama administration; his bio, posted at the Biden-Harris Transition White House Staff webpage recalls that "During the Clinton-Gore administration, Elizondo served in both the White House and in the Office of the U.S. Chief of Protocol," where he oversaw state visits and events such as "the Centennial Olympic Games, the NATO 50th Anniversary Summit and other international summits."

Elizondo's addition to the team is only the latest example of the diverse staff Biden is building. The president-elect brought trans veteran Shawn Skelly on board his transition team recently, and is reportedly considering out lesbian Karine Jean-Pierre, "a senior adviser to Biden's campaign who later served as chief of staff to Kamala Harris," for the role of White House press secretary, CNN reports.

Elizondo is one of four Obama-era White House staffers Biden has chosen for his new White House staff, ABC News noted. Also on the roster are Cathy Russell, who served as Biden's chief of staff during his tenure as vice president, who is slated to become the head of the White House Office of Presidential Personnel; Louisa Terrell, "who served as a legislative adviser to the president in the Obama administration and worked as deputy chief of staff for Biden in the Senate" has been tapped to lead the White House Office of Legislative Affairs; and Mala Adaga, who ABC recalled "advised Jill Biden on policy during the Obama administration," will serve as the incoming First Lady's policy director.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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