Who Is Kate Bedingfield, the White House Communications Director Who Announced Plans to Step Down?

Bedingfield is the most recent senior staffer that has decided to leave the Biden administration, following a flurry of departures within the president’s executive office

Kate Bedingfield
Kate Bedingfield. Photo: Patrick Semansky/AP

Kate Bedingfield, the 40-year-old White House communications director and a pivotal role-player in President Joe Biden's 2020 campaign, has announced that she will step down from her position this summer, White House aides confirmed on Wednesday.

Bedingfield's resignation represents the latest departure of a senior adviser from the Biden administration, which has faced bipartisan criticism recently for its messaging on current issues like baby formula shortages and gas prices.

Ron Klain, who has served as the president's chief of staff throughout the first 18 months of the administration, praised Bedingfield for her work in the 2020 election and legislative achievements such as the coronavirus stimulus bill and the infrastructure packages.

He also stated she played an instrumental role in now Justice Kentaji Brown Jackson's Supreme Court confirmation.

"She has played a huge role in everything the president has achieved — from his second term as vice president, through the campaign and since coming to the White House," Klain said in a statement.

The president's chief of staff also added, "she will continue to remain a critical player in moving the Biden agenda forward from the outside," although her next official position has not been announced yet.

Bedingfield's departure reflects a communications team that has been scrutinized by congressional members from Biden's own party, and the administration's perceived weak response to the horrific recent mass shootings has only made matters worse. Many prominent Democrats are also pushing Biden to take a more forceful position to the Supreme Court's overturning of the federally protected right to abortion.

Other notable names that have departed from the White House as of late are Cedric Richmond, a former senior adviser who left the White House in May, and Jeffrey D. Zients, the former White House COVID czar who left in early April. Former press secretary Jen Psaki, who was the face of the administration for the almost year and a half she was there, also left in June to pursue a television role on MSNBC.

Bedingfield's absence will leave the already troubled administration without a communications director as well as a replacement deputy press secretary to second Karine Jean-Pierre, who ascended from that position to press secretary after Psaki's departure.

As White House communications director, she wasn't frequently in front of the camera and instead was tasked with crafting administration messaging strategies behind-the-scenes, yet Bedingfield has served as an aide to Biden since he was vice president, and in her role as deputy campaign manager for his 2020 run often appeared on television programs as a spokesperson for him.

The political advisor was raised in Georgia and earned her bachelor's degree at the University of Virginia, where she got her start writing for the student-run newspaper Cavalier Daily. Beyond the White House, she has served as vice president of corporate communications at the Motion Picture Association of America and worked in entertainment and sports media.

In 2013 Bedingfield married environmental activist David Kieve, with whom she shares two children.

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