White House national climate adviser Gina McCarthy is leaving her position, the White House said Friday as it also confirmed reports that former Hillary Clinton campaign manager John Podesta is joining the Biden administration.
“Gina is indeed leaving us,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at a briefing Friday in response to questions about McCarthy’s departure. “She, as you know, has been a leader in what we have seen as one of the largest investment in dealing” with the climate, Jean-Pierre said.
It’s not clear why McCarthy is leaving the White House. She has not issued a public comment about leaving.
At the same time, President Joe Biden said in a statement that Podesta, whose emails were leaked by WikiLeaks ahead of the 2016 election and contained controversial material, will be joining the administration to serve as a senior advisor on “clean energy innovation and implementation.”
Podesta served as the White House chief of staff under President Bill Clinton and was also a senior Obama administration official before he became Clinton’s campaign manager. Podesta was most recently at the left-wing Center for American Progress think tank, which he founded.
“We are fortunate that John Podesta will lead our continued innovation and implementation,” Biden said in a statement on Friday. “His deep roots in climate and clean energy policy and his experience at senior levels of government mean we can truly hit the ground running to take advantage of the massive clean energy opportunity in front of us.”
Podesta was tapped to “oversee implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act’s expansive clean energy and climate provisions and will chair the President’s National Climate Task Force in support of this effort,” the White House said.
Podesta will not replace McCarthy. Her former deputy, Ali Zaidi, was named to be the White House’s national climate advisor, said Biden in a statement.