Kamala Harris Just Lost Her Highest-Ranking Staffer Yet

Former U.S. Senator Kamala Harris made history in 2020 when she was elected as the first woman, first Black American, and first South Asian American to serve as Vice President of the United States. While in office, Harris continued to be a part of history, including when she had the honor of officially confirming the nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman to serve on the United States Supreme Court.

However, in contrast with these extraordinary moments, Harris has watched several close colleagues leave her team, which some political analysts feel has cast something of a shadow over her vice presidency thus far.  

Late in 2021, Harris' senior advisor Symone Sanders announced she was leaving her role with the vice president to become the host of a weekend MSNBC show. At the start of 2022, Harris lost Peter Velz, who served as her director of press operations, after he announced via Twitter that he would step away from the role. He moved to the protocol office at the Department of State, Politico reported. One day after Velz left the office, Vincent Evans tweeted that he, too, was stepping down from his role with Harris as her deputy director of public engagement and intergovernmental affairs to become the Executive Director of the Congressional Black Caucus. Joining these exits were deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh and communications director Ashley Etienne, reports Reuters — but April 2022 saw what is possibly the most notable Harris staffer departure yet. 

Another organizational loss for Kamala Harris

Only a few months into 2022, Kamala Harris' top-aide quit the job. In an internal email (via CNN) to Harris and the rest of the staff, Chief of Staff Tina Flournoy seemingly acknowledged the abrupt nature of her exit, thanked her colleagues, and said that she was "eternally grateful to the vice president for giving me this amazing opportunity."

The Washington Post reported that Flournoy resigned "for personal reasons." The same outlet also relayed Harris' statement on the news. "Tina has been a valued advisor and confidant to me and tremendous leader for the office," the vice president said, adding, "From day 1, she led our team during a historic first year as we made progress rebuilding our economy here at home and our alliances around the world. Tina is the consummate public servant and I will continue to rely on her advice, counsel and friendship." 

Stepping into the chief of staff role is Lorraine Voles, who has a lot of experience in Washington D.C. She graduated from The George Washington University and later became the school's Vice President of External Relations. Voles held this position until she became a Strategic Communications Consultant to Harris and her staff starting in 2020, working on "organizational development, strategic communications and long-term planning," an official explained to CNN.