White House communications director Kate Bedingfield is leaving the Biden administration after four years in the role, the White House announced in a Friday news briefing.
Ben LaBolt, a former head of communications and adviser who has served in both the Biden and Obama administrations, will succeed her at the end of February. He will be the first openly gay person to serve in the role.
Bedingfield has been White House communications director since Biden’s inauguration. Prior to that, she was then-Vice President Biden’s communications director from 2015-2016 and his deputy campaign manager during the 2020 election. Other positions she held during the Biden-Obama administration include associate communications director, deputy director of media affairs and director of rapid response.
Outside of the White House, the Georgia native was VP of communications for the Motion Picture Association of America; VP of communications at Monumental Sports and Entertainment; and director of communications for Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s 2008 U.S. Senate campaign.
“Since my time as vice president, Kate has been a loyal and trusted adviser, through thick and thin,” Biden said in a statement. “She was a critical strategic voice from the very first day of my presidential campaign in 2019 and has been a key part of advancing my agenda in the White House. The country is better off as a result of her hard work and I’m so grateful to her – and to her husband and two young children – for giving so much. Ben has big shoes to fill.”
LaBolt previously acted as head of communications for the confirmation of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. He was also a nominations adviser during the Biden-Harris transition to power.
His resume also counts three presidential campaigns, with roles including senior national spokesperson for Obama-Biden in 2008 and national press secretary for Obama-Biden in 2012. He was a former Obama press secretary for the then-senator and has acted as communications director and press secretary for multiple congressional representatives. Currently, the Illinois native is the head of a communications and marketing agency.
Of LaBolt, Biden said: “I look forward to welcoming him back as a first-rate communicator who’s shown his commitment to public service again and again, and who has a cutting-edge understanding of how Americans consume information.”
“I saw him fight for Justice Jackson, and he put his all into helping us make history confirming our cabinet and subcabinet nominees,” the statement continued. “I’m proud to have him rejoin this team.”