Kate Bedingfield, Biden’s director of communications, is leaving the administration, the White House said Friday.
“During my time as vice president, Kate has been a loyal and trusted advisor through thick and thin,” Biden said in a statement. “He has been a critical strategic voice from day one of my presidential campaign in 2019 and has been a critical part of advancing my agenda in the White House.”
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Biden’s chief of staff, Ron Klein, recently left the administration.
Brian Deese, Joe Biden’s top economic adviser, is also stepping down from his role.
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Biden had been scheduled to make the announcement after the holidays but a leak to CBS about classified documents stolen from his personal office derailed his plans.
Full statement from the White House:
Kate Bedingfield, who has served as White House communications director since President Biden’s inauguration, will leave the White House at the end of February and be replaced by Ben LaBolt as White House communications director.
Bedingfield, who served as then-Vice President Joe Biden’s communications director in 2015-2016 and then as deputy campaign manager in his successful 2020 presidential run, has played an integral role in the success of the first two years of the Biden-Harris administration, reducing inflation. From the American Rescue Plan through legislation.
Prior to serving under the president, Bedingfield held three White House communications leadership roles during the Obama-Biden administration: associate communications director, deputy director of media affairs and director of rapid response. He was vice president of communications for the Motion Picture Association of America, vice president of communications for Monumental Sports and Entertainment, and director of communications for Sen. Jean Shaheen’s successful 2008 campaign for the US Senate. Beddingfield is a Georgia native and alumnus of the University of Virginia.
Bedingfield will be replaced by Ben LaBolt, who worked with President Biden in this administration and during the Obama-Biden years.
Ben LaBolt served as chief of communications for Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation and served as an adviser on the nomination during the Biden-Harris transition.
LaBolt served on 3 presidential campaigns, including as senior national spokesperson for Obama-Biden in 2008 and national press secretary for Obama-Biden in 2012. LaBolt has congressional experience in both chambers, serving as Sherrod Brown’s first election communications director in the Senate in 2006, press secretary to Rep. Jan Schakowsky, and then-Senator Barack Obama’s Senate press secretary in 2007.
He currently leads a communications and marketing agency with over 200 employees and offices across the country that specializes in integrating strategic communications and digital marketing strategies to reach and engage people on platforms.
LaBolt is a native of La Grange, Illinois and an alumnus of Middlebury College. He is making history as the first openly gay White House communications director.
“From my time as Vice President, Kate has been a loyal and trusted advisor through thick and thin,” President Biden said. “She has been a critical strategic voice since day one of my presidential campaign in 2019 and has been a critical part of advancing my agenda in the White House. Her hard work has made the country better, and I owe her — and her husband and two young children — so much. Thanks for giving. Ben has big shoes to fill. I look forward to welcoming him as a first-rate communicator who has repeatedly demonstrated his commitment to public service, and a sophisticated understanding of how Americans use information. I’ve seen him fight for Justice Jackson. , and he gave his all to help us make history by confirming our Cabinet and sub-Cabinet nominees. I am proud to have him join the team again.”