Nov. 17 (UPI) — President-elect Joe Biden announced his first round of White House staff hiring, consisting mostly of campaign loyalists and supporters.
Mike Donilon, a veteran adviser to the former vice president, will serve as a senior adviser. Campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon, will serve as Biden’s deputy chief of staff. Biden earlier named longtime aide Ron Klain as chief of staff.
Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, will work as the White House Office of Public Engagement. Steve Ricchetti, a former campaign chair and with long ties to Biden will be a senior counselor.
Biden named former Obama administrator Dana Remus as counsel to the president. Julie Chavez Rodriguez, granddaughter of legendary labor leader Cesar Chavez and former aide to Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, will serve as Biden’s director of intergovernmental affairs.
A longtime member of Biden’s inner circle, Annie Tomasini, will act as the director of Oval Office Operations.
Former Ambassador of Uruguay under the Obama administration Julissa Reynoso Pantaleon will serve first lady Jill Biden as her chief of staff while Anthony Bernal, one of her closest aides, will be a senior adviser.
Tomasini and Bernal were the only Biden campaign aides who met routinely with the Bidens while they were locked down at home in Delaware during the early months of the coronavirus.
While Russia continued to hold out on recognizing Biden as the president-elect, he did receive phone calls from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin.
“Biden reiterated his deep commitment to the State of Israel and its security,” Netanyahu’s office said. “Prime Minister Netanyahu said the special connection between Israel and the United States is a cornerstone of Israel’s security and policy. The two agreed to meet soon in order to discuss the many issues on the agenda and stressed the need to continue strengthening the strong alliance between the United States and Israel.”
Rivlin congratulated Biden and offered an invitation for him to visit Jerusalem.
“As a long-standing friend of the State of Israel, you know that our friendship is based on values that are beyond partisan politics and that we have no doubt that, under your leadership, the United States is committed to Israel’s security and success,” Rivlin told Biden.