President Biden on Tuesday morning tapped senior adviser Julie Chávez Rodríguez to head his reelection campaign, turning to an Obama-Biden administration veteran and granddaughter of Latino labor leader Cesar Chávez to lead the charge to 2024.
Biden made the announcement when he officially launched his campaign Tuesday, the four year anniversary of when he declared his 2020 bid for the presidency in 2019.
Chávez Rodríguez has served as a senior adviser to Biden and as the director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.
She previously served as a special assistant to the president and the senior deputy director of public engagement in the Obama White House. Before then, she worked in the Department of the Interior and worked as a deputy press secretary to Ken Salazar, former Interior secretary.
After her time in the Obama administration, Chávez Rodríguez worked closely with now-Vice President Harris during her time in the Senate, serving as California state director, according to her White House biography. She then pivoted to work for Harris’s presidential campaign as the national political director and the traveling chief of staff.
After Harris joined the president’s ticket in 2020, Chávez Rodríguez served as the deputy campaign manager for Biden.
Chávez Rodríguez has been surrounded by political organizing throughout her life. She is the granddaughter of Cesar Chávez, who advocated for fair working conditions for farm workers in the 1960s and 1970s. She told Bustle Magazine in an interview in 2020 that she was “exposed to organizing at such an early age, both as a skill set but also as an ethos.”
Cecilia Munoz, who led the intergovernmental affairs office during the Obama administration, told The Associated Press that Chávez Rodríguez has the job now because of her skill, not because of her family ties.
“Being a Chavez is part of who she is, but she’s there because she is so skilled and has such deep integrity,” she said.
Biden has been an outspoken supporter of her grandfather, Cesar Chávez, keeping a bust of the labor activist in the Oval Office. Biden’s choice to appoint her as campaign manager has prompted celebration from advocacy groups, including America’s Voice, which advocates for undocumented immigrants in the United States.
“Julie Chavez Rodriguez is an exceptional leader and smart strategist, the Biden reelection campaign is lucky to have her,” Vanessa Cárdenas, the executive director of America’s Voice, said in a statement. “She brings to the table not only her experience at the highest levels of government, but also her grounding in community as someone who started her career organizing farm workers in California.”
Biden on Tuesday also named Sen. Raphael Warnock’s (D-Ga.) former campaign manager Quentin Fulks as his principal deputy campaign manager, and praised both Chávez Rodríguez and Fulks as “trusted, effective leaders” in his video launch.
“With this team leading the charge, we’ll be able to do just that. Julie and Quentin are trusted, effective leaders that know the stakes of this election and will bring their knowledge and energy to managing a campaign that reaches all Americans,” Biden said.