VP Kamala Harris’ Communications Director, Jamal Simmons, Will Step Down

The husband and father of two wants to spend more time with his family.

Jamal Simmons, Vice President Kamala Harris’ communications director, is stepping down after a year.

In a statement to Politico, the veteran Democratic aide and Detroit native said, “Working for Vice President Harris has been an honor and a privilege. I’m so thankful for the confidence she put in me and I will miss this fantastic team more than anything.” |

Simmons, 51, reportedly stepped down to move to New York and spend more time with his family. He has been married to Jewel James, Obama’s former Special Assistant for Intergovernmental Affairs, since 2016.

It’s not unusual for communications directors to leave the White House after a year or less. In 2009, Anita Dunn, former President Barack Obama’s White House communications director, resigned after less than a year and she is now serving as senior adviser to President Joe Biden, according to Politico. Former President Donald Trump had several communications directors, including one that lasted only 10 days. In 2017, former Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary, Marc Lotter, stepped down after nine months.

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Lorraine Voles, Harris’ chief of staff, told Politico that Simmons, who took the role in January 2022, was always scheduled “to come on board for a year” because he is the father of two young children. She also praised Simmons for growing “V.P’s digital presence and building relationships with national, regional and constituency media.”

Voles continued, “Jamal has been a great partner in the vice president’s office and he is a talented member of our White House communications team.” Dunn added, “He has been a vital driver in communicating the work of the vice president and our shared White House agenda during a very critical year, culminating in history-defying results.”

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