WASHINGTON: President-elect Joe Biden has appointed former campaign aides to the White House office of digital strategy.
The 12 Democratic operatives will be in charge of communicating with Americans through online platforms and building trust at a time when people are increasingly engaging online because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Communicating transparently and honestly with the American people is one of the most important responsibilities of a president," Biden said in a statement. "This team of diverse experts has a wide range of experience in digital strategy and will help connect the White House to the American people in new and innovative ways.”
Rob Flaherty, who was digital director for the Biden campaign, will take on the role of director of digital strategy. Jamie Lopez will be director of platforms and Brendan Cohen, who was deputy director of editorial for the Biden campaign, will serve as platform manager.
Rounding out the team is Jonathan Hebert as video director and Carahna Magwood as creative director, which are similar to the roles they held on the Biden campaign.
Maha Ghandour, digital partnerships manager on the presidential inaugural committee, will take on the same role in the White House. Ghandour will be joined by Aisha Shah, who is digital partnerships manager on the transition team.
Biden’s digital team is expected to try to maintain momentum from the presidential campaign, when his organization quickly ramped up digital operations after winning the Democratic nomination.
The appointees are expected to build on work that began in the Obama administration, in which President Barack Obama would regularly appear on social media platforms outside the venues traditionally expected of the president. Biden could also use some of the same tactics that worked during the campaign, like partnering directly with digital content creators and influencers to reach the public.
For instance, during the campaign, Biden appeared on podcasts with author and host Brene Brown, was endorsed by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and struck a partnership with a group of creators called “TikTok for Biden,” which was paid to post pro-Biden content.