Dec 17, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden arts adviser takes job leave after harassment allegations

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris looks on as Joe Biden speaks in Delaware on Wednesday.

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris looks on as Joe Biden speaks Wednesday during a Cabinet announcement in Wilmington, Del. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

A member of one of Joe Biden’s transition agency review teams is stepping down from his professional CEO role while an independent law firm investigates workplace harassment charges against him, according to a letter obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: As a member of the Arts and Humanities review team, Bob Lynch — head of Americans for the Arts — is charged with making personnel recommendations for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Science Foundation and Smithsonian Institution.

While Lynch is taking a voluntary leave of absence from Americans for the Arts, leaders of AFTA's Arts Education Advisory Council called on the Biden transition to remove him from the review team because of allegations he was complicit in a hostile work environment.

  • “This moment calls for new leadership,” said the letter, signed by 14 people.
  • Lynch did not immediately return a phone message on a cell phone number for him provided to Axios.
  • The transition team didn't respond to a request for comment.

What they’re saying: In a statement, the AFTA board of directors said it "takes the charges made by these members of our community very seriously, and we have taken swift action for remedy to closely examine the organization’s practices and procedures."

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