The incoming Biden-Harris administration tapped veteran aide Carlos Elizondo to be the new White House Social Secretary. In his new role,he will be in charge of the White House Social Office and oversee all aspects of official social events in the President’s official residence. Elizondo previously served for both terms of the Obama-Biden administration as Special Assistant to the President as well as Social Secretary to the Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden. Elizonda’s selection was one of a number announced by the Biden-Harris transition team.
“I’m proud to name additional members of our team who will help deliver the change America needs in these difficult times,” Biden said in a statement. “Their dedication to overcoming the challenges facing our country today are rooted in their diverse backgrounds and experiences.”
“To bring President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris’ agenda to life you must have a boundless team of experts ready for day one,” added incoming White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain. “Today’s appointees are respected leaders who will bring a commitment to serving the American people each and every day.”
The incoming social secretary has plenty of experience overseeing official social events at the White House. In his previous time working with the Obama-Biden administration, he was responsible for all events hosted by then-Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden. The job was more than just managing parties, though, as the invitees were world leaders, members of Congress, celebrities, and high-ranking dignitaries, and a simple mistake could cause a diplomatic crisis. Elizondo also served in both the White House and the Office of the U.S. Chief of Protocol, managing numerous state visits including one from the Pope. He’s held numerous similar positions in the private sector.
The appointment is one of what is expected to be a number of LGBTQ+ staffters. Queer folks played key roles in Biden's campaign with Pete Buttigieg as campaign surrogate, Karine Jean-Pierre as chief of staff to Kamala Harris, Jamal Brown as national press secretary, Reggie Brown as LGBTQ+ engagement director, and Olivia Raisner as traveling digital director. Many of them are expected to join Elizondo, who is gay and Latinx, in the administration — Buttigieg is already serving on the transition team.
Elizondo hails from Texas originally and is a graduate of the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio. He and his unnamed partner live in the nation’s capital.