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Ed Siskel Named New White House Counsel

The former member of the Obama administration will take over when Stuart Delery leaves in September

President Joe Biden announced Ed Siskel will serve as White House Counsel, becoming the third person to hold the office since 2021.

Siskel worked in the White House Counsel’s office for four years under President Barack Obama.

Siskel will be tasked with “crafting policies and executive actions, defending and advancing the President’s agenda, and pursuing progress for the American people,” according to the Biden administration.

Biden said Siskel’s “many years of experience in public service and a career defending the rule of law make him the perfect choice.”

“For nearly four years in the White House when I was Vice President, he helped the Counsel’s Office navigate complex challenges and advance the President’s agenda on behalf of the American people,” said Biden in a statement on Aug. 22. He noted Siskel previously served as a federal prosecutor for his native Chicago. 

“Ed has shown a deep commitment to public service and respect for the law,” said the president. “His experience will let him hit the ground running as a key leader on my team as we continue making progress for the American people every day.”

Siskel is a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School and previously clerked for Justice John Paul Stevens. He will assume his new role in September following the departure of current White House Counsel, Stuart Delery.

LGBTQ advocates celebrated when Biden appointed Delery, an openly gay man, in June of 2022. Delery also worked for the Obama administration in the Department of Justice, first as assistant attorney general and then acting associate attorney general. 

News broke last week that Delery was officially departing the Biden administration. His professional plans are not presently clear. 

Biden called Delery a “trusted adviser and a constant source of innovative legal thinking” in an Aug. 17 statement acknowledging his departure.

From his work during those early days on COVID-19 and efforts to get life-saving vaccines to the American public to the implementation of major legislative accomplishments such as the American Rescue Plan, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and the Inflation Reduction Act, he has been an integral part of my team and will be missed throughout the Administration,” said the president.

Delery took over from Dana Remus, Biden’s first White House Counsel. Remus also worked in the Obama administration and was general counsel for Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign. She left the White House after just over 18 months on the job.

She declined NPR’s request for comment on her departure. A White House official told the outlet Remus planned to spend more time with her young son. 

Although a number of top officials have left Biden’s administration, the total turnover of 56% remains below the modern average, and his Cabinet is the most stable going back at least seven administrations,” reports The Spokesman-Review.

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