Biden Transition News, White House senior staff, November 20, 2020


On Friday, November 20, President-elect Biden announced a second slate of White House senior staff. Brief biographies for each individual are below.


Mala Adiga, Policy Director for Jill Biden

Adiga was a senior advisor to Dr. Jill Biden and a senior policy advisor on the Biden-Harris Campaign. She previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Academic Programs at the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, as Chief of Staff in the State Department’s Office of Global Women’s Issues, as Director for Human Rights on the National Security Staff, and as Counsel to the Associate Attorney General. Before joining the 2020 campaign, Adiga was Director for Higher Education and Military Families at the Biden Foundation.


Carlos Elizondo, White House Social Secretary

Elizondo served as Special Assistant to the President and Social Secretary to Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden throughout the Obama-Biden administration and in the Office of the U.S. Chief of Protocol during the Clinton-Gore administration. Elizondo has also served as Director of Presidential Events at Georgetown University and Manager of Special Activities and Protocol at Walt Disney World.


Cathy Russell, Director of the White House Office of Presidential Personnel

Ambassador Russell serves on the Advisory Board of the Biden-Harris Transition Team and served as Vice Chair of the Biden-Harris Campaign. Russell previously served in various roles in the White House and State Department during the Obama administration, including Chief of Staff to Dr. Jill Biden and the U.S. Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues. She previously served as senior advisor on international women’s issues on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as Associate Deputy Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice, as the Staff Director of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and as Senior Counsel to Senator Patrick J. Leahy.


Louisa Terrell, Director of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs

Terrell oversees legislative affairs for the Biden-Harris Transition Team. She served as Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs in the Obama administration. Before joining the White House, Terrell was an advisor to Tom Wheeler, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Deputy Chief of Staff for then-Senator Biden, and Chief of Staff for Senator Cory Booker.



These positions do not require Senate confirmation.



  1. Press Release via Biden Transition Website