© 2024 Iowa Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
KICJ (88.9 FM) off air due to power outage

Who is Julie Chávez Rodriguez, Biden's reelection campaign manager?

White House Intergovernmental Affairs director Julie Chávez Rodriguez in 2021. Chávez Rodriguez was deputy campaign manager for the Biden-Harris campaign, in part helping to court Latino voters.
Evan Vucci
/
AP
White House Intergovernmental Affairs director Julie Chávez Rodriguez in 2021. Chávez Rodriguez was deputy campaign manager for the Biden-Harris campaign, in part helping to court Latino voters.

When President Biden announced on Tuesday that he would run for reelection, he said the effort would be helmed by Julie Chávez Rodriguez.

Chávez Rodriguez has served under two presidents and worked on Biden's successful 2020 presidential campaign.

She is also the granddaughter of the late labor leader César Chávez, who advocated for the rights of farmworkers and helped found the United Farm Workers union, and the daughter of UFW President Emeritus Arturo Rodriguez. Before entering politics, Chávez Rodriguez was the director of programs at the Cesar E. Chavez Foundation.

She told a group of George Washington University students last year that seeing that community organizing up close in her youth was a foundational experience.

"Growing up, it was valuable to see people fighting for those who didn't have a voice," Chávez Rodriguez said, "farmworkers who are the poorest and least educated and then to empower them, create an opportunity for them to step forward and negotiate with employers, with industries. The power dynamics are pretty intense."

Chávez Rodriguez said she was excited when Barack Obama, a fellow community organizer, announced his bid for president. In 2008 she began knocking on doors for his campaign. "He really elevated the role of organizing and service," Chávez Rodriguez told the GWU students.

Her volunteer efforts led to jobs in the Obama administration — in the White House and the Department of the Interior.

The California native went on to work for then-Sen. Kamala Harris before joining Harris' presidential campaign, according to her bio on the White House's website. Chávez Rodriguez later became the deputy campaign manager for the Biden-Harris campaign, in part helping to court Latino voters.

Chávez Rodriguez currently serves as a senior adviser and assistant to the president and director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.

Cecilia Muñoz, who previously ran that office during part of the Obama administration, told The Associated Press that Chávez Rodriguez has the job not because of her family history, but because of her own work.

"Being a Chavez is part of who she is," Munoz said, "but she's there because she is so skilled and has such deep integrity."

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Joe Hernandez
[Copyright 2024 NPR]