Harris hires two senior advisers
By Tyler Pager,
Vice President Harris has brought on two new senior advisers in recent months as part of an effort to bolster her office’s capacity amid a heightened media profile and a growing portfolio, according to a White House official.
Harris hired Lorraine Voles and Adam Frankel, who worked with her during the transition, to focus on organizational development, strategic communications and long-term planning, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss personnel matters.
Voles and Frankel will serve only temporarily in the White House, but the official did not specify how long they will stay.
The hires come amid a sense of anxiety among some Democrats about Harris’s first year as vice president. Many in the party view Harris, who ran an unsuccessful campaign for president, as a leading candidate to take the mantle from the 78-year-old President Biden either in 2024, should he choose not to run for reelection, or in 2028.
But she has been taken on politically difficult assignments — such as addressing the root causes of migration in Central America and tackling the volatile area of voting rights — where it is difficult to make immediate progress.
As the first Black and South Asian woman to serve as vice president, Harris also has an outsized media presence compared with past vice presidents, an area Frankel and Voles have been helping to manage. Unlike Biden, Harris also has faced staffing issues.
While the president is surrounded by many aides who have worked for him for decades, most of Harris’s White House staff had never worked for her before she took office, either in her Senate office or during her presidential campaign.
Frankel worked on Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and then joined the White House as a speech writer. Before joining Harris’s office, Frankel worked as a senior adviser at Fenway Strategies, a speech writing firm founded by Obama administration alumni, and Emerson Collective, the organization founded by Laurene Powell Jobs. He also worked as a vice president at PepsiCo.
Frankel is married to Stephanie Psaki, a senior adviser at the Department of Health and Human Services and the sister of White House press secretary Jen Psaki.
Voles previously worked as director of communications for Vice President Al Gore and advised Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential bid. More recently, Voles served as senior vice president for communications and marketing at Fannie Mae and vice president of external relations at George Washington University.