President Joe Biden has tapped former Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms to join the White House. Bottoms will replace outgoing Cedric Richmond as a top White House advisor.
As director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, Bottoms will have access to some of the most high-level planning and strategy sessions in the West Wing, Axios reported.
The senior advisor role is a coveted position in the Administration as Bottoms will be responsible for trying to bridge the gap between progressive and centrist Democrats to push policy through.
The Bottoms announcement comes in the midst of what has been nicknamed Blaxit–the White House has lost 21 staffers in recent weeks.
“Keisha is bright, honorable, tough, and has the integrity required to represent our Administration to the American public,” Biden said in a statement. “Jill and I have known Keisha for a long time and look forward to working with her more closely.”
Bottoms told Axios in an interview that she plans to do “more listening than anything” and that “it’s important that people feel their voices are reflected and their voices are heard.”
She added, “We’ve been through some very challenging times, especially for African Americans in this country…Those challenges are still very fresh and real to me. And I live it every day: I live it as a Black woman, I live it as a mother of four children, and I know where those challenges are, but I also know where the opportunities are.”
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Bottoms was the Mayor of Atlanta in Georgia. Bottoms assumed office on January 2, 2018. Bottoms left office on January 3, 2022.
Like Richmond, Bottoms was a close adviser to Biden during his 2020 campaign. Bottoms was also on the shortlist for Biden’s VP pick before he ultimately chose Kamala Harris.
After her announcement that she would not seek election as mayor of Atlanta, Bottoms has worked as a political commentator for CNN and been based in Atlanta, People reported.
Photo: Then-President-elect Joe Biden speaks with Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms after a drive-in rally for Georgia Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, Dec. 15, 2020, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)