Biden And Kamala’s Chief Diversity Officer Departing White House

(Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Reagan Reese White House Correspondent
Font Size:

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’ first chief diversity and inclusion officer is departing from his position at the White House, according to The Associated Press (AP).

Michael Leach, who also serves as a special assistant to the president, is leaving the administration after three years in his position, according to The AP. The White House does not appear to have a replacement for Leach, who was included in conversations on how to advance “inclusive perspectives” and focused on hiring a “diverse” staff.

“President Biden promised to build an administration that looks like America and delivers for the American people,” Jen O’Malley Dillon, the White House deputy chief of staff, told The AP. “From the campaign to now, Michael Leach was an instrumental partner to us in fulfilling this promise.”

Leach was previously in charge of heading diversity and inclusion efforts on Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign, NBC News reported.

Former Chief Medical Adviser Anthony Fauci weighed in on Biden’s emphasis on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) efforts as Leach departs the White House, The AP reported.

“As we’re getting deeper and deeper into the issue of diversity, equity and inclusion, a lot of people have skepticism,” Fauci said. “But I have found in my own experience, having lived through both eras — the era when there was no diversity, there was no equity and there was no inclusion, versus now when we’re seeing a fair amount of it — it is a value and has made us really better off.”

Following the death of George Floyd in 2020, organizations, universities and politicians began emphasizing social justice efforts such as DEI and anti-racism initiatives. Different institutions, most prominently universities, began implementing the DEI pillars into their hiring practices. Across the country, dozens of colleges require staff to pledge their commitment to “advancing DEI,” even grading applicants off of their previous anti-racism efforts. (RELATED: Biden Admin, Media Blamed Anti-CRT Efforts And ‘Book Banning’ For Learning Losses. Experts Say That’s ‘Nonsense’)

Such initiatives have come under fire by Republicans, as they argue such an emphasis in DEI ignores merit, talent and skill to instead focus on the color of one’s skin and their sex.

“With this bold, forward-thinking legislation to eliminate DEI programs, Texas is leading the nation, and ensuring our campuses return to focusing on the strength of diversity and promoting a merit-based approach where individuals are judged on their qualifications, skills, and contributions,” Republican Texas Sen. Brandon Creighton said in a press release after Texas banned some DEI initiatives in higher education institutions.