Tina Flournoy, who currently serves as Vice President Kamala Harris’ chief of staff, is leaving her job after 15 months, becoming the most recent addition to the growing list of Harris aides who have departed their various positions over the last year.
Flournoy’s tenure included leading the vice president’s team through a difficult period characterized by reported tensions between West Wing staff members and difficult tasks given by President Joe Biden.
“Tina has been a valued advisor and confidant to me and tremendous leader for the office,” Harris commented in a statement. “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.”
So far, the reason for Flournoy’s exit has not been made clear. She headed up staffing efforts for Harris and served as a crucial link between the vice president and other outside Democratic allies and activists. But consistent with events in Harris’ other political roles, the office had a high rate of staff turnover.
Others who have left Harris’ office include chief spokesperson Symone Sanders, deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh, director of digital strategies Rajun Kaur, director of advance Karly Satkowiak, national security adviser Nancy McEldowney, speechwriting director Kate Childs Graham, deputy director of public engagement Vince Evans, director of press operations Peter Velz, communications director Ashley Etienne, and deputy director of advance Gabrielle DeFranceschi.
The high number of departures took place as many press reports were released detailing a toxic environment among the vice president’s staff.
As noted in a June 2021 Political report, Flournoy’s attempts to shield Harris from criticism led to her dismissing or altogether ignoring staff ideas, failing to delegate responsibility, prolonging decision making, and blaming those under her for negative results.
“People are thrown under the bus from the very top, there are short fuses and it’s an abusive environment,” said one unnamed source in the release. “It’s not a healthy environment and people often feel mistreated.”
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