President Biden declared this week that Julie Chavez Rodrguez, the highest-ranking Latina in the White House, will be in charge of his 2024 presidential campaign.
The big picture: 45-year-old Chávez Rodriguez directs the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and serves as senior adviser to the president.
She served as a deputy campaign manager for Vice President Kamala Harris and former Vice President Joe Biden during the 2020 election.
She is also the granddaughter of farm labor leader and civil rights activist Cesar Chavez, who fought for better working conditions for farmworkers.
In her new high-profile role, Chávez Rodríguez will steer the Biden campaign through what is expected to be a competitive general election.
Chávez Rodríguez’s political activism
A native of California, she’s been an activist from a young age.
“Not everybody grew up on a picket line or knowing the five pesticides that caused cancer,” she told Axios’ Astrid Galván during an interview in 2022.
At age 9, Chávez Rodríguez was arrested during a protest outside a supermarket while distributing fliers about pesticide risks.
A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley in Latin American Studies, Chávez Rodríguez worked as the director of programs at the Cesar Chavez Foundation, which seeks to improve the lives of Latinos and working families, after college.
She was a volunteer in Colorado during Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign before pivoting to the Interior Department as the Director of Youth Employment. She also was a Deputy Press Secretary to former Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.