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South Carolina's Stephen Benjamin will replace Keisha Lance Bottoms in White House role

President Biden on Monday announced Stephen Benjamin, former Columbia, S.C., mayor, will join the administration as head of the Office of Public Engagement, replacing former Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.

Lance Bottoms joined the administration last June, and she frequently traveled back to Atlanta to be with her family during her roughly nine months on the job.

“Under Keisha’s leadership, the Office of Public Engagement has kept equity at the heart of our agenda, and continues to serve as the connective tissue between our Administration and everyday Americans who may not have a voice to reach Washington otherwise,” Biden said in a statement. “I have leaned on Keisha as a close advisor with exceptional instincts, and I am grateful to her for serving our nation with honor and integrity. I wish her the best as she returns home to Atlanta to be with her family.”

Bottoms served one term as mayor of Atlanta and gained prominence for her handling of the coronavirus pandemic in the city before opting not to run for reelection. She was floated as a potential running mate for Biden in 2020 before he picked Vice President Harris.

Benjamin will take over as director of the Office of Public Engagement, which is tasked with informing the public about the White House’s agenda. He previously served as mayor of the capital of South Carolina from 2010-2021 and led the U.S. Conference of Mayors from 2018-2019. He is also a former president of the African American Mayors Association.

Bottoms is the latest senior White House official to depart the administration. Former chief of staff Ron Klain’s last day was earlier this month, and Brian Deese ended his tenure as the head of the National Economic Council. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh is also slated to leave the administration to take over as head of the NHL Players’ Association next month.

Source: The Hill

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