Today, President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris announced the creation of the White House Gender Policy Council, which will be co-chaired by Jennifer Klein and Julissa Reynoso.
The goal of the Council is to facilitate government policy that positively impacts women and girls on a range of issues including health care, economic security, racial justice, gender-based violence, and foreign policy. The Council will work with and across other White House policy councils to create positive change.
The Council will be led by Jennifer Klein and Julissa Reynoso. Klein is currently the Chief Strategy and Policy Officer at TIME’S UP, and has worked on gender equality for almost three decades. She was a Co-Chair of the Women and Families Policy Committee and a member of Women for Biden during the Biden-Harris Campaign, and was also Senior Advisor on Women’s Issues on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Reynoso, in addition to her role as co-chair of this Council, will also serve as the Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to Dr. Jill Biden. Previously, Reynoso served as U.S. Ambassador to Uruguay, and as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere in the U.S. Department of State. She also was on the Board of Directors of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law and the Truman National Security Project.
“Too many women are struggling to make ends meet and support their families, and too many are lying awake at night worried about their children’s economic future. This was true before the COVID-19 pandemic, but the current global public health crisis has made these burdens infinitely heavier for women all over this country. The work of this council is going to be critical to ensuring we build our nation back better by getting closer to equality for women and to the full inclusion of women in our economy and our society,” said President-elect Joe Biden.
“All Americans deserve a fair shot to get ahead, including women whose voices have not always been heard. Our administration will pursue a comprehensive plan to open up opportunity and uphold the rights of women in our nation and around the world. I look forward to working with these deeply knowledgeable and experienced public servants to address the challenges facing women and girls, and build a nation that is more equal and just,” said Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
Ellie Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority Foundation, said, “we are delighted about Biden’s announcement of the White House Gender Policy Council that will directly report to the president and will have a mandate to work on both foreign and domestic policy. And, we congratulate Jennifer Klein and Julissa Reynoso to be leading this very important council that will center the impact of policies on women and girls and people across the gender spectrum, especially the most marginalized among us. This is a critical milestone in ensuring feminist policies moving forward!”
Sources: Biden-Harris Transition 1/19/21; IWPR 1/19/21; TIME’S UP 1/19/21