VP Harris Names New Communications Director Amid Wave of Staff Departures

VP Harris Names New Communications Director Amid Wave of Staff Departures VP Harris Names New Communications Director Amid Wave of Staff Departures

Longtime Democratic aide Jamal Simmons will take over for Ashley Etienne this week as Vice President Kamala Harris' communications director. (John Lamparski/Getty Images for Advertising Week New York)

By Luca Cacciatore | Thursday, 06 January 2022 06:22 PM

Vice President Kamala Harris selected a new communications director on Thursday, Fox News reported.

The move comes after Vincent Evans, Harris' former deputy director of public engagement, announced that he was leaving to become executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus, according to a statement obtained by CNBC.

Longtime Democratic aide Jamal Simmons, a native of Michigan, will take over for Ashley Etienne in the role sometime this week.

Simmons, 50, served as deputy communications director for Al Gore's 2000 presidential campaign and as an aide to former Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark.

He was also chief of staff to former Michigan Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick and an aide to former Florida Sen. Bob Graham.

Karen Finney, a Democratic strategist and commentator, said bringing Simmons on was ''an excellent move'' for the vice president's office, according to The Hill.

''Jamal has a unique array of expertise that will be invaluable to the vice president and the White House,'' Finney said.

''Having worked in media, working as a consultant, he's done campaigns, he's worked on the Hill. He's a seasoned communicator, and his professional career is very diverse, and he has a unique expertise that he brings. It gives him a lot of resources to draw upon.''

In November, CNN reported growing frustration in Harris' office following a sharp decline in her approval ratings.

Peter Velz, director of the vice president's press operations, served his last day on Thursday. And the chief spokesperson for the vice president, Symone Sanders, resigned last month.

Original Article