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First look: Deputy comms director to depart White House

Sarah Mucha

The deputy White House communications director, Pili Tobar, is departing her role for the private sector, a White House official told Axios.

Why it matters: Tobar’s departure is one of several reported in recent weeks as the administration completes its first year and the White House braces for a difficult midterm season. White House press secretary Jen Psaki is reportedly heading to MSNBC.

  • Cedric Richmond, director of the White House office of Public Engagement is also moving to the private sector, Axios confirmed this week.
  • White House climate adviser Gina McCarthy plans to leave her post soon, as well, the Washington Post has reported.
  • The administration has had relatively low turnover, as Axios reported in January.

The details: At the White House, Tobar managed a communications portfolio that included immigration, climate and LGBTQI+ issues, among others.

  • Born in Florida and raised, in part, in Guatemala, Tobar also served as a bilingual spokesperson in Spanish.
  • Tobar joined the White House from the Biden campaign, where she led the coalitions communications team.

What they’re saying: “Pili has been a tremendous asset to our team, and she will be deeply missed,” said Kate Bedingfield, White House communications director.

  • Tobar said in a statement: “It has been the privilege of a lifetime to work for President Biden and Vice President [Kamala] Harris in the White House, and on the campaign.”
  • “After nearly three years of serving with this incredible team, I am excited to return to the private sector and spend some much-needed time with my daughter, Lily, my wife, Christina, our family and friends.”


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