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Top Biden labor adviser steps down

Celeste Drake, a top labor adviser to President Biden, has stepped down from her post, according to the White House.

Drake, whose last day was Sunday, is leaving to be deputy director-general of the International Labor Organization starting Aug. 14, the White House said. The organization is based in Geneva.

Drake led labor policy at the National Economic Council (NEC), along with Erika Dinkel-Smith, who has been promoted to senior labor adviser in the Office of Political Strategy. Drake was pivotal during the labor disputes between the UPS and Teamsters, which were resolved last month, as well as the deal to avert a rail strike that came together late last year.

She left her post as the White House has struggled to get its nominee for Labor secretary, Julie Su, through the Senate. Su’s nomination is largely at a standstill because she doesn’t have support from moderate Democrats to get confirmed.

The White House also recently announced that senior adviser Gene Sperling is leading outreach to the United Auto Workers and to the top car manufacturers as they work through their contract negotiations.

Before the NEC, Biden chose Drake in April 2021 to serve as the first director of Made in America at the Office of Management and Budget. She was tasked with federal procurement policy to carry out the president’s goal to manufacture more in the U.S.

White House chief of staff Jeff Zients on Tuesday praised Drake for her “sharp policy focus, trusted voice, deep relationships, and unwavering commitment to working Americans” that helped Biden’s promise to be the most pro-union president in U.S. history.

“Celeste Drake is the embodiment of President Biden’s commitment to putting working Americans at the center of his economic policy. Her policy expertise, relationships of trust, and wise counsel have made Celeste an essential part of the White House team,” NEC director Lael Brainard said in a statement.

And Su praised her for being one of the administration’s “greatest champions for working families.”

Source: The Hill

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