Keisha Lance Bottoms is joining the Biden administration

President Joe Biden has named former Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms to join his administration as senior advisor to the president for public engagement.

Bottoms, who decided not to seek reelection last year after serving one term as mayor, will oversee the White House Office of Public Engagement, which works at the national, state, and local levels to make sure the president maintains open communication with community leaders with diverse perspectives.

“Mayor Bottoms understands that democracy is about making government work for working families, for the people who are the backbone of this country,” Biden said Tuesday.

“Keisha is bright, honorable, tough, and has the integrity required to represent our administration to the American public.”

Bottoms was an early supporter of Biden during the presidential primary campaign that led to his winning the Democratic nomination in 2020. Her name was among those floated as a potential nominee for vice president until Biden chose then-U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris of California.

Biden praised Bottoms for her leadership of Atlanta during the pandemic, including protests during the summer of 2020 following the fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks by an Atlanta police officer as well as the mass shooting last year of eight people, including six Asian American women, at three spas in the metro area.

Bottoms served on the Atlanta City Council representing a district in Southwest Atlanta before being elected mayor in 2017. After leaving city government at the beginning of this year, she joined CNN as a political commentator.

Bottoms will succeed Cedric Richmond, who represented the New Orleans area in the U.S. House of Representatives before joining the Biden administration early last year. Richmond is leaving to serve as a strategist with the Democratic National Committee.

This story is available through a news partnership with Capitol Beat News Service, a project of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation.


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