The rate of turnover among senior-level executive branch staff can have a serious impact on the day-to-day performance of the White House—and shape the very nature of a presidency. As Brookings did for Donald Trump, the Institution is now monitoring staffing changes among the upper echelons of President Biden’s administration.
Below, we offer two sets of resources to help measure and contextualize this turnover. The first set of resources, immediately below, tracks turnover among senior-ranking advisers in the executive office of the president (which does not include Cabinet secretaries); the second set of resources tracks turnover in the Cabinet.
Turnover on President Biden’s “A-Team”
President Biden’s “A-Team” turnover is 52% as of May 26, 2023.
The following chart and table reflect turnover among the most influential positions within the executive office of the president. This data is compiled and tracked by Brookings nonresident senior fellow Kathryn Dunn Tenpas, who refers to this group of advisers as the president’s “A-Team.” The list of positions that make up the “A-Team” is based on National Journal “Decision Makers” editions, and Tenpas’s methodology is described in detail in a related piece published in January 2022. The chart and table below will be updated as additional members of the “A-Team” depart their positions. It is important to note the following:
- Because the “A-Team” is made up of members of the executive office of the president, it does not include Cabinet secretaries. Information on the Cabinet is available below.
- Each position on the “A-Team” is only counted once. If multiple people hold and depart from the same position, only the initial departure is tracked/affects the turnover rate.
- The count for turnover among Joe Biden’s administration is ongoing.
Summary of “A-Team” turnover in the Biden administration
Set out below is a list of the senior-level departures from the executive office of the president since the beginning of the Biden administration (each of the 66 “A-Team” positions is only counted once toward the turnover rate, thus, this chart only includes the first person to hold/depart a given position).
|Year||Position||Name||Nature of departure||Date of departure*||Prior job||Where to?||Successor|
|1||Deputy Press Secretary; Special Assistant to the President||TJ Ducklo||Resigned under pressure||2/13/21||NBC News||Risa Heller Communications||Chris Meagher|
|1||Chief Strategist; Senior Advisor to the President||Anita Dunn||Resigned||8/14/21||SKDK||SKDK||None (temporary position)|
|1||White House Staff Secretary; Deputy Assistant to the President||Jessica Hertz||Resigned||10/22/21||Shopify||Neera Tanden|
|1||Director, White House Office of Presidential Personnel; Assistant to the President||Cathy Russell||Resigned||12/10/21*||Unknown||UNICEF||Gautam Raghavan|
|1||Chief of Staff to the First Lady; Assistant to the President||Julissa Reynoso Pantaleon||Promoted||12/18/21||Winston and Strawn LLP||
|2||Deputy Counsel to the President; Legal Advisor to the National Security Council||Jonathan Cedarbaum||Resigned||1/31/22||WilmerHale||Unknown||Jake Phillips|
|2||Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy||Eric Lander||Resigned under pressure||2/18/22||The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard||Unknown||Dr. Arati Prabhakar|
|2||Deputy Director, Office of Management and Budget||Shalanda Young||Promoted||3/17/22||House Committee on Appropriations||Director, Office of Management and Budget||Nani Coloretti|
|2||National Security Advisor to the Vice President||Nancy McEldowney||Resigned||3/20/22||Biden-Harris transition team||Unknown||Philip Gordon|
|2||Coordinator of the COVID-19 Response; Counselor to the President||Jeff Zients||Resigned||4/5/22||Cranemere Group||Unknown||Ashish K. Jha|
|2||Chief of Staff to the Vice President||Tina Flournoy||Resigned||4/22/22||Chief of Staff for former President Bill Clinton||Unknown||Lorraine Voles|
|2||Deputy Director of Communications; Special Assistant to the President||Pili Tobar||Resigned||5/2/22||Biden-Harris 2020 campaign||Unknown||Unknown|
|2||Press Secretary; Assistant to the President||Jen Psaki||Resigned||5/13/22||Biden-Harris transition team||MSNBC||Karin Jean-Pierre|
|2||Director, White House Office of Public Engagement; Assistant and Special Advisor to the President||
|Resigned||5/18/22||House of Representatives||Unknown||Keisha Lance Bottoms|
|2||Executive Associate Director, Office of Management and Budget||Aviva Aron-Dine||Promoted||5/27/22||Center on Budget and Policy Priorities||Deputy Director, National Economic Council||Unknown|
|2||Deputy Director, National Economic Council; Deputy Assistant to the President||David Kamin||Resigned||5/27/22||NYU School of Law||NYU School of Law||Aviva Aron-Dine|
|2||Deputy White House Counsel||Jonathan Su||Resigned||6/3/22||Latham & Watkins||Latham & Watkins||Unknown|
|2||Deputy White House Counsel||Danielle Conley||Resigned||6/3/22||WilmerHale||Latham & Watkins||Unknown|
|2||Deputy White House Counsel||Stuart Delery||Promoted||6/15/22*||Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher||Unknown||Unknown|
|2||White House Counsel; Assistant to the President||Dana Remus||Resigned||6/15/22*||Biden-Harris 2020 campaign||Unknown||Stuart Delery|
|2||Domestic Policy Advisor for VP||Rohini Kosoglu||Resigned||7/15/22*||Biden-Harris 2020 campaign||Unknown||Unknown|
|2||Press Secretary to the First Lady||Michael LaRosa||Resigned||7/29/22||Biden-Harris 2020 campaign||Unknown||Unknown|
|2||Assistant to President, Office of Management and Administration||Anne Filipic||Resigned||9/2/2022||Obama Foundation||Share Our Strength||David L. Noble|
|2||National Climate Advisor||Gina McCarthy||Resigned||9/16/2022||CEO, National Resources Defense Council||Unknown||Ali Zaidi|
|2||Senior Director for Legislative Affairs, NSC||Rebecca Brocato||Resigned||1/2/2022||Co-Founder and Director of Strategy and Government Affairs at National Security Action||Development Finance Corporation||Casey Redmon|
|2||Associate Director for Economic Policy, OMB||Danny Yagan||Resigned||7/15/2022||UC Berkeley||UC Berkeley||Zachary Liscow|
|3||Chief of Staff||Ron Klain||Resigned||2/8/2023||Biden-Harris 2020 campaign||O’Melveny Law Firm||Jeff Zients|
|3||National Cyber Director||Chris Inglis||Resigned||2/15/2023||U.S. Naval Academy, Professor||Unknown||Kemba Eneas Walden|
|3||Director of the National Economic Council||Brian Deese||Resigned||2/21/2023||BlackRock||Unknown||Lael Brainard|
|3||Communications Director||Kate Bedingfield||Resigned||3/1/2023||Biden-Harris 2020 campaign||Unknown||Ben LaBolt|
|3||Chair, Council of Economic Advisers||Cecilia Rouse||Resigned||3/31/2023||Princeton University||Princeton University||Jared Bernstein (nominated)|
|3||Director, Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and Senior Advisor||Julie Rodriguez||Resigned||5/15/2023||Biden-Harris 2020 campaign||Campaign Manager, Biden Reelection Campaign||Unknown|
|3||Domestic Policy Advisor||Susan Rice||Resigned||5/26/2023||Unknown||Unknown||Neera Tanden|
|3||Senior Advisor to the Director of Domestic Policy Council||Stefanie Feldman||Promoted||5/26/2023||Biden-Harris 2020 campaign||Assistant to the President and Staff Secretary||Unknown|
|SUMMARY: 34/66 (52%) “A-Team” positions have turned over.|
|* Author’s note: In some cases, the exact date of an individual’s departure was unable to be determined. In those circumstances, the date of the individual’s departure announcement was used and is indicated by an asterisk (*).|
|Sources: Multiple news websites, LinkedIn, WhiteHouse.gov, and other government websites.|
President Biden’s Cabinet turnover is 7% as of April 5, 2023.
The chart and table below are dedicated to tracking turnover in the Cabinet. They will be updated as additional turnover occurs. Unlike the trackers above dedicated to the president’s “A-Team,” these resources look at every departure from the president’s Cabinet, even if multiple people have occupied the same position. To understand Tenpas’s definition of Cabinet membership, please read “Who is in the president’s Cabinet?”
Summary of Cabinet departures in the Biden administration
Set out below is a list of departures from the president’s Cabinet since the beginning of the Biden administration.
|Year||Position||Name||Nature of Departure||Date of Departure||Prior Job||Where to?||Successor|
|3||Secretary of Labor||Marty Walsh||Resigned||3/11/2023||Mayor of Boston, Massachusetts||NHL Player’s Association||Julie Su (nomination pending)|
SUMMARY: 1/15 (7%) Cabinet positions have turned over.
|Sources: Agency websites, presidential library websites, and various news sources.|
Report Produced by Governance Studies
Viewed as a leading, independent voice in the domestic policymaking sphere, the Governance Studies program at Brookings is dedicated to analyzing policy issues, political institutions and processes, and contemporary governance challenges. Our scholarship identifies areas in need of reform and proposes specific solutions to improve governance worldwide, but with a particular emphasis on the United States.