Another Top Adviser To VP Harris Announces Departure

Long before she became vice president, Kamala Harris had been accused of leading a dysfunctional and even toxic work environment. That reputation has followed her into the Biden administration, where a number of senior aides have already left her office.

Most recently, Herbie Ziskend confirmed that he would be leaving his post as a senior communications adviser for Harris and accepting a position as the deputy communications director for the White House. He will be stepping into a post currently held by Kate Berner, who in turn will receive a promotion within the White House communications staff.

Although it has been a while since the last report of a Harris staff departure, it was a common occurrence earlier on in the Biden administration. As former White House press secretary Jen Psaki claimed in reference to the frequent resignations, it is actually a “very positive thing” to see such turnover within the vice president’s office.

“Working in the first year of a White House is exciting and rewarding but it’s also grueling and exhausting,” she said.

It is worth noting that the Biden administration has pointed to Psaki’s decision to leave the Biden administration for a position at MSNBC as the reason for the shakeup within the White House communications department.

While Ziskend, who has been a part of the Harris team since Biden’s inauguration, appears to be headed into a more influential role within the administration, his departure nonetheless highlights the troubling accusations that have surrounded the vice president throughout her political career.

More than a year ago, a Politico article highlighted the low morale among Harris staffers and included a number of statements from insiders who complained about the environment she had established within the office.

Nearly two dozen sources spoke to the outlet, including one who asserted that staffers feel as if they are “treated like s***” by the vice president.

“People are thrown under the bus from the very top,” the insider said. “There are short fuses and it’s an abusive environment. It’s not a healthy environment and people often feel mistreated.”

As one former staffer recalled, Harris is not “willing to do the prep and the work” necessary to lead a functional team, alleging that aides must “put up with a constant amount of soul-destroying criticism and also her own lack of confidence.”