Senior communications official Josh Raffel is exiting his post at the White House, less than a year after he left Blumhouse Productions to work for Jared Kushner.
According to Axios, Raffel has to deal with a family obligation in New York but plans to return to the private sector after. According to the outlet, Raffel will leave the White House sometime in the next two months.
Jason Greenblatt told Axios, “Josh was an integral part of our peace team and became a close friend. He guided all of us through the process of communicating serious and complex issues that impact people across the world,” while Ivanka Trump added, “Josh is honest, passionate and thoughtful. Whether it was offering strategic guidance on the communications for tax reform or a foreign trip, Josh’s guidance was invaluable. The White House won’t be the same without him.”
The former Blumhouse PR head joined the Kushner-led Office of American Innovation, which was billed as being largely separate from politics and non-partisan. Kushner described OAI’s goal in a White House press statement as “combining internal resources with the private sector’s innovation and creativity, enabling the Federal Government to better serve Americans. He also served as a key advisor to Trump, Ivanka Trump and Kushner.
According to the Axios report, “Raffel was quietly promoted to deputy communications director and began taking a bigger role internally” last fall.
Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn also added, “Josh has been a trusted partner as we worked to enact the President’s economic agenda and passed historic tax reform. He is focused and thoughtful in our day-to-day operations and in driving a policy roll-out, and he will be missed.”
Prior to joining Blumhouse in Fall 2015, Raffel worked for six years as an executive at the communications and consulting firm Hiltzik Strategies. While there, one of Raffel’s clients was Kushner’s real estate company, Kushner Enterprises. Raffel also represented entertainment figures and companies like Glenn Beck, Sony Pictures, and Jeff Robinov’s Studio 8.
A spokesperson for the White House has not yet responded to TheWrap’s request for comment.