Home » Michael Leach, White House’s top diversity officer, leaving Biden administration

Michael Leach, White House’s top diversity officer, leaving Biden administration

by The Grio

NEW YORK (AP) — The White House’s top diversity officer and first ever aide in the role is leaving the Biden administration after three years in his position.

Michael Leach, a special assistant to President Joe Biden and the chief diversity and inclusion officer for the White House, departs after serving as a top aide to the Democrat since his 2020 presidential campaign, the White House said on Thursday. Both in office and during the campaign, Leach, who’s Black, spearheaded efforts to create the most diverse general election and White House staffs in history. He was frequently involved in conversations advancing inclusive perspectives in administration policy.

Leach said the role “has been the honor of a lifetime” and expressed “great optimism” about the administration’s future diversity and inclusion efforts. Leach, who spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday ahead of Thursday’s announcement of his departure, will take time to reflect on how to best increase equity across institutions before his next role. The White House has not immediately replaced its top diversity officer role but has launched a job search for the position.

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

Leach’s departure comes as diversity, equity and inclusion efforts face growing backlash across major sectors including business, government, education and health care. Right-leaning organizations have increasingly challenged diversity and inclusion efforts, which are premised on decreasing bias, as themselves discriminatory. Republican politicians and activists have depicted “diversity, equity and inclusion,” or DEI, efforts as harmful to the country and enacted laws restricting such…

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