President Biden is expected to nominate Courtney O’Donnell, a top aide to Vice President Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff, to represent the U.S. in UNESCO.
A White House official confirmed to The Associated Press that O’Donnell will be the choice to represent the U.S. in the United Nations-based agency.
O’Donnell, who served as a communications director for first lady Jill Biden, serves as a senior adviser in Harris’s office and acting chief of staff for Emhoff.
O’Donnell, who spent seven years at U.S.-based vacation rental company Airbnb, also lent her expertise in several important issues to the first and second couple, according to the AP.
Among them was Jill Biden’s push to raise awareness of and support for U.S. military families and promote community colleges and Emhoff’s top issue of countering prejudice toward Jewish people.
In a statement, former White House chief of staff Ron Klain expressed his excitement about O’Donnell’s pending promotion, saying she is trusted by her colleagues.
“This is a fantastic pick and she will do a fantastic job at UNESCO,” Klain said.
O’Donnell’s nomination comes months after the U.S. officially announced its intentions to rejoin UNESCO.
It’s been nearly six years since the Trump administration announced it would leave UNESCO due to what it called anti-Israel bias. Last year, Israel, which also left the agency, informed the State Department it wouldn’t be opposed to a U.S. return to the agency.
The Biden administration wanted to rejoin the agency due to concerns about China’s influence in the agency.
The Senate will vote to confirm O’Donnell’s nomination to the position.
The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment and more information.
The Associated Press contributed.
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