Kern County native Julie Chavez Rodriguez to join incoming Biden administration

Who is Julie Chávez Rodriguez - Director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs: Biography, Career, Time Life and Family

A Kern County native who served in the Obama administration has been appointed to become President-elect Joe Biden's director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.

The post announced Tuesday on Twitter will put Tehachapi High graduate Julie Chávez Rodriguez atop the executive branch's interactions with state, local and tribal governments.

The granddaughter of civil rights icon Cesar Chavez, born in Delano and raised in Tehachapi, was one of only 10 senior transition officials named to the administration as of Wednesday afternoon.

Her appointment comes six months after Vanessa Cárdenas' controversial departure at the end of last year as the highest-ranking Latina in the campaign. Sources had told Politico that Cárdenas was frustrated by not having a voice in decision making and what she perceived as Biden's lack of firm commitment to Latinos.

Cárdenas had spent seven months in charge of reinforcing the campaign's approach to women and minorities.

Chávez Rodriguez earned a bachelor's degree in Latin American studies at the University of California, Berkeley before going to work full time on former President Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign.

At Obama's White House she had several roles, from a youth employment director to deputy director of public engagement to special assistant to the president.

She was hired in 2017 to work on Kamala Harris' presidential campaign. Earlier this year she was hired by Biden's campaign, cites

Before that she takes over as Deputy Director of Public Engagement

Who is Julie Chávez Rodriguez - Director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs: Biography, Career, Time Life and Family

Now Rodriguez, 36, is carrying on her family legacy of public service as the Obama administration’s Deputy Director of Public Engagement. In this role, Julie manages a team of associate directors who work with leaders in the LGBT, AAPI, Latino, Veterans, Youth, Education, Labor, and Progressive communities. Over the past four years, Julie has worked in the Office of Public Engagement, supporting efforts to reform the nation’s immigration system, improve services for veterans, and increase access to affordable, quality health care, among other issues. Julie has also worked in coordination with the White House’s National Security Council on efforts to normalize the United States’ relationship with Cuba, in addition to responding to the migration of Central American children and their families. Prior to joining the White House, Julie served as the Director of Youth Employment at the Department of the Interior and the Deputy Press Secretary to former Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. Before joining the Administration, Julie served as the Director of Programs at the Cesar E. Chavez Foundation, according to

Her Early Life

Julie Chavez Rodriguez, the granddaughter of civil rights activist Cesar Chavez. The 42-year-old Chavez Rodriguez was born in Delano and attended Tehachapi High School and then graduated from the University of California, Berkeley.

Growing up in a family of activists, Julie Chavez Rodriguez thought that she had a normal childhood. At age 9, she was arrested for taking part in a protest. While other families went on picnics, hers went on picket lines. When her grandfather took her out for a drive, it often meant knocking on doors or leafleting in support of farm workers. This was everyday life for Rodriguez – the granddaughter of famed labor leader Cesar Chavez.

A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, Rodriguez has led a life both public and private. Her grandparents’ home, where she visited her grandfather and played with her cousins, was designated a National Monument by President Obama in 2012. Her family’s quarrels receive national media attention. When prominent Latino leaders attend White House functions, some of them have known Rodriguez since she was a child. Yet when the film “Cesar Chavez” was screened at the White House last year, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough did not know about Rodriguez's relation to Chavez, according to
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