May 9, 2022 - Politics & Policy

First look: Vice president hires new deputy chief of staff

Kamala Harris giving a keynote graduation address

Vice President Kamala Harris delivers the keynote speech during Tennessee State University's commencement ceremony on May 7. Photo: Jason Davis/Getty Images

Vice President Kamala Harris has hired a new deputy chief of staff, Erin Wilson, who'll officially join the team on May 31, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Wilson is joining after several other notable hires throughout the VP's office, as Harris staffs up ahead of this fall's midterm elections. Wilson has ties to the West Wing, and she was Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign national political director.

  • She's worked in both national and statewide campaigns, and she was a U.S. Senate staffer as well as an employee at the Democratic National Committee.
  • She comes to Harris' office after serving most recently as the deputy director at the White House office of political strategy and outreach.

The backdrop: Wilson is replacing Michael Fuchs, who announced in April his plans to leave this month.

  • Fuchs was a former foreign policy adviser to President Clinton and held senior roles at the State Department during the Obama administration.
  • In a memo to her team, reviewed by Axios, Wilson wrote: "Over the last three years, I have had the privilege of working alongside so many talented individuals as we have traversed the primary campaign, to the general election and launch of an administration."

Between the lines: Harris is expected to play a critical role this year in making the case to voters for why Democrats should keep the House and Senate.

  • Her recent hires — with campaign and congressional experience — are meant to bolster that effort.

What they're saying: Jennifer O'Malley Dillon, White House deputy chief of staff, said in a statement: “Erin has been a key leader of the president’s political team since the launch of his campaign in 2019, and her work to build a historic coalition of supporters helped make the first 15 months of this administration a success."

  • "Her leadership, dedication and thoughtfulness will be an asset to the vice president‘s team.”
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