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Anita Dunn speak onstage at 'Women Rule: The L.A. Summit' at NeueHouse Hollywood on June 5, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

Veteran communications and campaign strategist Anita Dunn will join Joe Biden's White House on a temporary basis, helping him to advance his opening agenda from inside the West Wing, people familiar with the plans tell Axios.

The big picture: Dunn, a former communications director to President Barack Obama, took on an expanded role in Biden's campaign when it faltered last winter, helping guide it through a party nomination and general election victory.

  • She'll work closely with Kate Bedingfield, who'll be White House communications director, and press secretary Jen Psaki.
  • As a senior adviser, Dunn also will play a key role in coordinating issues across the White House, much as she did during the campaign and as co-chair of Biden’s transition.
  • Dunn played a key role in overseeing strategy and personnel during the campaign and was involved in debate preparation along with her husband, Bob Bauer, a former White House counsel.
  • Dunn had planned to return to her public affairs and political consulting firm, SKDKnickerbocker and still intends to do so later this year.

Between the lines: Most of Biden's top campaign aides and longtime advisers will come into the White House with him, at least for the opening months, as he seeks to heal a nation that's deeply divided in the midst of a devastating pandemic.

  • Chief of staff Ron Klain first worked for Senator Biden in the late 1980s.
  • Bruce Reed, who'll be deputy chief of staff, was a chief of staff to Vice President Biden.
  • Longtime confidants Steve Ricchetti and Mike Donilon also will occupy crucial West Wing roles.

The bottom line: While Biden's Cabinet must run the gauntlet through Senate confirmations, he's stocking the White House with battle-tested advisers who can be up and running on Jan. 20.

Go deeper

Jan 27, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Mark Meadows' new gig

Mark Meadows at a Make America Great Again rally in October. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows is joining the Conservative Partnership Institute, a group run by former South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint that operates as a "networking hub" for conservatives, sources familiar with his plans tell Axios.

Between the lines: Meadows, who is still in frequent contact with former President Trump and has been advising him ahead of his impeachment trial, will now operate behind the scenes to help create more members like Jim Jordan, Ted Cruz, and Josh Hawley — conservative firebrands with strong networks and staffs.

GOP-led Arizona board calls for end to election audit

Ballots are counted at the Maricopa County Election Department after the presidential election in Phoenix, Arizona, on Nov. 5. Photo: Olivier Touron/AFP via Getty Images

The Republican-led Maricopa County Board of Supervisors on Monday urged the Arizona Senate's GOP-led audit of its 2020 presidential election results to be called off in a letter Monday.

Why it matters: The letter underscores divisions in the GOP between loyalists of former President Trump and those denouncing baseless election claims, which saw Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) ousted last Wednesday as the third-highest ranking House Republican after speaking out on the matter.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
45 mins ago - Energy & Environment

IEA analysis charts "narrow" pathway to Paris climate goal

Photovoltaic solar panels at the power plant in La Colle des Mees, Alpes de Haute Provence, southeastern France. Photo: Gerard Julien/AFP via Getty Images

The pathway for transforming global energy systems to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 is "narrow but still achievable" and demands unprecedented acceleration away from fossil fuels, an International Energy Agency report published Tuesday concludes.

Why it matters: It provides detailed analysis and estimates of what's needed for a good shot at limiting temperature rise to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels — the Paris Agreement benchmark for avoiding some of the most damaging effects of climate change.