Vice President Kamala Harris’ national security adviser has become the latest high-profile staffer to leave the veep’s office, according to a report.
Nancy McEldowney, who has worked for Harris since she took office, will be replaced by her deputy Philip Gordon, said an internal memo obtained by Reuters on Monday.
McEldowney reportedly said in the memo that she was stepping down to “focus on some pressing personal matters.”
“This was a difficult decision because I am so deeply committed to the work we do and the crucial national interest we serve,” she wrote. “But after more than a year, this is the right decision for my family.”
It wasn’t immediately clear when McEldowney’s resignation would take effect, though she said she wasn’t “rushing out the door.” A senior administration official told Reuters her last day hasn’t yet been confirmed.
McEldowney, a former ambassador to Bulgaria and onetime director of the State Department’s Foreign Service Institute, had advised both Harris and President Biden on a range of global issues — including the withdrawal from Afghanistan, negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In a statement, Harris said McEldowney had given her “invaluable counsel” and expressed gratitude for “her exceptional talent, deep expertise, and leadership navigating complex challenges.”
McEldowney is the 10th key official to depart Harris’ office since this past June, along with director of digital strategies Rajun Kaur, director of advance Karly Satkowiak, deputy director of advance Gabrielle DeFranceschi, communications director Ashley Etienne, chief spokesperson Symone Sanders, director of press operations Peter Velz, deputy director of public engagement Vince Evans, speechwriting director Kate Childs Graham and deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh.
While it is not uncommon for White House staffers to shift roles after the first year of an administration, the Harris departures have come under additional scrutiny in the wake of multiple reports about bullying and her treatment of staff.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended the departures late last year as “natural.”
Gordon, McEldowney’s successor, worked on the National Security Council in the Clinton and Obama administrations and also served as assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs during Obama’s first term.