Biden Administration’s Top Diversity Officer Leaving White House

( – Michael Leach, the first ever chief diversity and inclusion officer for the White House, is leaving the position after holding the post for three years.

Leach, who also served as a special adviser to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, was part of Biden’s campaign in 2020. The Biden administration has touted Leach’s efforts to create a diverse staff for both the White House and the Biden-Harris campaign.

White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jen O’Malley called Leach an “instrumental partner” in fulfilling Biden’s promise of building “an administration that looks like America and delivers for the American people.”

According to a report from the White House, roughly half of its staff consider themselves a person of color, and more than half of the staff are women. The president has also signed an executive order calling on the larger federal government to implement more initiatives to ensure that the federal workforce is more diverse and inclusive.

There appears to be no bad blood behind Leach’s departure. Leach, who is black, called the opportunity to be part of the Biden administration “the honor of a lifetime,” also stating that he has “great optimism” regarding the future diversity and inclusion initiatives of the White House. The White House has not announced a replacement as of press time, but has said that a search for a suitable candidate is in the works.

Leach’s resignation comes as backlash against diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives have increased. Conservatives in particular point out the irony of these programs – which span the business, government, education and health care sectors, among others – aimed at decreasing bias, end up being discriminatory themselves. Instead of assessing an individual’s merits, critics say, DEI programs consider a person’s race and ethnicity above all else. States like Florida have taken things a step further, enacting a law that bans the use of taxpayer dollars to fund DEI initiatives at state universities.

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