Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. He can be reached on [email protected]
U.S. President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Vice President Kamala D. Harris on Friday announced additional members of the White House communications, press, photo and digital strategy teams, including Adam Schultz as Chief Official White House Photographer, Lawrence Jackson as Photographer to the Vice President and TJ Ducklo as Deputy Press Secretary.
Biden and Harris also named Khanya Brann as Senior Communications Assistant and Special Assistant to the Director of Communications; Eric Bravo as Video Editor; Rykia Dorsey Craig as Regional Communications Director; Anita Dunn as Senior Advisor to the President; Ike Hajinazarian as Regional Communications Director;Drew Heskett as Presidential Videographer; Todd Zubatkin as Deputy Director for Research; Seth Schuster as Regional Communications Director and Matthew Hill, Senior Associate Communications Director.
With Friday’s announcement, the incoming Biden-Harris administration has announced more than 215 White House appointees, a new record for appointments pre-Inauguration.
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“White House appointees and others serving across the federal government will represent their diverse and varied communities, putting service to the American people at the forefront of their work,” the Biden-Harris team said in a statement.
President-elect Joe Biden: “Speaking honestly, with empathy and directly to the public about our administration will be among the key pillars in this Presidency and White House. At a time when American families are facing numerous challenges, these appointees will strengthen our administration’s ability to convey information to the American people and be integral in our team’s efforts to build our nation back better.”
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris: “To meet the unprecedented challenges facing our nation, we need to communicate clearly and honestly with the American people. These appointees are dedicated public servants who will help us deliver on our commitment to contain the coronavirus pandemic, create an economy that works for working people, and rebuild our country in a way that lifts up all Americans. I’m proud to serve the American people alongside them in the White House.”
Incoming White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain: “These appointees are among a diverse and experienced team that is dedicated to building our nation back better and rebuilding the trust of the American people. These staff members will be critical in communicating information on behalf of the White House to the press and the American public. They are respected and creative strategists ready to tackle the urgent challenges facing our nation.”
Read the biographies of the new picks
Khanya Brann, Senior Communications Assistant and Special Assistant to the Director of Communications
Khanya Brann served as the Pennsylvania Communications Associate and previously as a Communications Intern for the Biden-Harris Campaign. Brann served as the Communications Fellow for Philly Counts 2020, Philadelphia’s effort to support a fair and accurate 2020 Census count. Originally from Trinidad and raised in Montreal, Canada and Pennsylvania, Brann is a graduate of Temple University.
Eric Bravo, Video Editor
Eric Bravo serves as a Video Editor for the Biden-Harris Transition, a position he held on the Biden-Harris Campaign since the primary. Prior to his role on the campaign, he served as a Video Producer-Editor for Beto O’Rourke’s presidential campaign. Bravo was born and raised in Texas and is a graduate of the University of Texas at El Paso.
Rykia Dorsey Craig, Regional Communications Director
Rykia Dorsey Craig served as Minnesota Communications Director for the Biden-Harris Campaign. Prior to her role on the campaign, she served as Communications Director in the Office of Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43). Previously, she was a Press Assistant at Third Way and a Client Executive in the Public Affairs and Crisis practice of Burson-Marsteller. Originally from Atlanta, GA, Dorsey-Craig is an alumna of Howard University and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She resides in Washington, D.C. with her husband.
TJ Ducklo, Deputy Press Secretary
TJ Ducklo is currently a spokesperson for the Biden-Harris Transition. He served as National Press Secretary for the Biden for President campaign beginning in April 2019. Prior to joining the Biden campaign, Ducklo was senior communications director at NBC News where he oversaw communications strategy for “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt,” breaking news and special coverage. Previously, Ducklo worked on Showtime’s political docuseries “The Circus” and was the communications director for Bloomberg News’ political coverage during the 2016 campaign. He began his career on the communications team at the Motion Picture Association, and was also a spokesperson for Viacom and Washington D.C.’s bid for the 2024 Olympic games. Ducklo is a native of Nashville, Tennessee and graduated from George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs.
Anita Dunn, Senior Advisor to the President
Anita Dunn brings decades of experience managing and winning political and advocacy campaigns and advising our nation’s leaders at the highest levels of government. Dunn most recently served as a senior advisor to President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’s presidential campaign. In that role, Dunn advised on all aspects of the campaign, including messaging, debate preparation, and overall strategy. Dunn was a chief strategist to former President Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and served as the White House Communications Director in 2009. A partner at strategic consulting firm SKDKnickerbocker, Dunn has also served in a variety of roles in and out of government for former Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle and former U.S. Senator Bill Bradley. Dunn lives in the Washington, D.C. area with her husband Bob Bauer and enjoys spending time with their children and grandchildren when she isn’t rooting for the Washington Nationals.
Ike Hajinazarian, Regional Communications Director
Ike Hajinazarian most recently served as the Western Pennsylvania Regional Press Secretary for the Biden campaign after working on the campaign in communications roles during the primary and general elections in New Hampshire, Nevada, Texas, Ohio, and other states. Prior to joining the campaign, he worked on Capitol Hill, first as Press Assistant to Senator Joe Donnelly of Indiana, and later as the Deputy Press Secretary on the House Homeland Security Committee’s Majority Staff. Born in Columbus, Ohio to Lebanese-Armenian immigrant parents, Hajinazarian is a graduate of Indiana University and the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management.
Drew Heskett, Presidential Videographer
Drew Heskett served as Traveling Videographer for the Biden-Harris Campaign and Transition. Prior to joining the campaign, he worked as a freelance film creative specializing in non-fiction video. Heskett has directed, shot, and edited short-form content for a wide array of brands and organizations such as the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, The Atlantic, and Verizon Wireless. Originally from Southern California, Heskett is a graduate of Chapman University.
Matthew Hill, Senior Associate Communications Director
Matt Hill is a Senior Spokesperson for the Presidential Inaugural Committee and was the Deputy National Press Secretary on the Biden-Harris Campaign throughout the primary and general elections. Before joining the campaign, Hill was Media Relations Manager at Georgetown University and a Communications and Public Affairs Associate at Global Strategy Group. He also was a Communications Intern in the Office of the Vice President of the Obama-Biden White House. A graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Hill hails from the northwest suburbs of Chicago.
Lawrence Jackson, Photographer to the Vice President
Lawrence Jackson was the staff photographer to Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on the Biden-Harris Campaign. Prior to his role on the campaign, he freelanced as an editorial and political photographer based in the Washington, D.C. area. Jackson served eight years as a staff photographer in the White House Photo Office during the Obama-Biden administration. As a photojournalist, worked for the Associated Press in Boston and Washington, D.C., and The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va. Born and raised in Richmond, Va., Lawrence is a graduate of James Madison University and lives in the D.C. area with his wife, two kids, and two dogs.
Terry Moynihan, Deputy Director for Research
Terry Moynihan currently works on the communications-research team on the Biden-Harris Transition and worked as Deputy Research Director on the Biden-Harris Campaign. Before that he worked as Deputy Research Director for the Democratic Governors Association. Originally from Minnesota, Moynihan is a graduate of Cornell University. He lives in Washington, D.C. with his husband.
Adam Schultz, Chief Official White House Photographer
Adam Schultz was the lead photographer for Joe Biden’s 2020 Presidential Campaign. Prior to his role on the campaign, he was a freelance photographer based in New York, covered political campaigns including Conor Lamb’s Special Election in 2018, was a photographer on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, and worked for The Clinton Foundation in New York from 2007 until 2013. Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Schultz is a graduate of Georgia State University.
Seth Schuster, Regional Communications Director
Seth Schuster served as National Communications Assistant, Communications Fellow, and Communications Intern on the Biden-Harris Campaign. Prior to his role on the campaign, he worked as a research assistant for the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. He also held internships at MSNBC and the Council on Foreign Relations. Born in New York, Schuster is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.
Todd Zubatkin, Deputy Director for Research
Todd Zubatkin currently works on the communications research team on the Biden-Harris Transition and worked as Deputy Research Director on the Biden-Harris Campaign. Prior to his role on the campaign, he worked at American Bridge 21st Century. Originally from New Jersey, Zubatkin is a graduate of Rutgers University and Brown University.