Two top aides overseeing the visit of Vice President Kamala Harris are departing, The vice president is left in flux with her critical support staff as she seeks to speed up travel before the big vaccine and push voting rights she plans through July.
Advances director Carly Satkoviak and Advances coordinator Gabrielle DeFransecchi, both told the vice president’s office that they plan to leave in the coming weeks, according to three sources familiar with their plans. A spokeswoman for Ms Harris said departures were long overdue and both women are currently looking for their replacements.
Advance workers are an integral part of the vice president’s team, responsible for planning all of his visits. Ms. Satkowiak and Ms. DeFransecchi put together teams that survey locations for Ms. Harris to visit, and negotiate with local officials to make the locations camera-ready.
The departure comes as the administration has launched a broad call for “advance allies” to help Ms Harris and her husband, Douglas Emhoff, with a major push of vaccine-related travel in the summer months. The vice president’s office, according to a person familiar with its recruitment, currently lacks travel support staff, and calls for advance aides came as the administration also plans a high-stakes trip to Ms. Harris’ southern border. That visit was announced Wednesday amid mounting pressure from conservatives and former President Donald J. That is set days before Trump plans to go to the border with a group of House Republicans and Texas Governor Greg Abbott.
The Biden administration is trying to recruit advance aides to help manage Ms Harris and her husband’s travel and staff – an unpaid situation where travel expenses are paid for or reimbursed by the government. He also asked anyone who had previously served as an advance aide to “consider doing this again.”
“Our goal is to engage a significant group of talented logistics experts,” the administration said in an email widely sent to current and former Democratic employees.
Unlike President Biden, who has been surrounded by the same top aides for most of his political life, Harris entered the administration with a number of new staff. Many of those officers came with the understanding that they would only be there on a short-term basis.