Democrat vice presidential candidate, former vice president Joe Biden has chosen Jencell Rhodes as his new national director for voter protection, public safety and counterterrorism. The move marks the first time Biden has appointed someone outside his political office to lead voter protection at a national level.
Biden, whose son Beau died in 2015, has been a vocal critic of the president’s administration, especially after the president’s repeated attacks on immigration.
According to a press release issued Wednesday, Rhodes “brings to the office over 20 years of government, civil rights, and legal experience. She has served as Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Deputy Special Advisor to the Attorney General, Legal Advisor to the Department of Homeland Security and Deputy Counsel to Attorney General Eric Holder.”
Chris LeRoy, communications director for Biden’s campaign, said in a statement that Rhodes is someone with “brilliant legal mind and real world experience.”
Rhodes, a 33-year-old Washington, D.C., native, held a leadership position in her office for her entire tenure, including helping develop the Election Assistance Commission.
“During her many years of service, I have witnessed and respected Jencell’s leadership and dedication to making our democratic process the best it can be,” Biden said in a statement. “As head of voter protection, the protection of our national, state and local governments from real and potentially dangerous threats is her responsibility, and we will seek ways to use her leadership skills and diverse backgrounds to carry out this critical role.”
LeRoy said Biden’s efforts to combat electronic fraud and election hacks are well documented.
In March, for example, Biden called on Congress to enact election-related legislation to combat potential hacking of voting machines. In March of this year, Biden spoke out against the administration’s plan to replace paperless voting machines, stating that the machines “actually have been hacked”.
Rhodes’ name in an eye-catching background: she is the granddaughter of former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and a long-time resident of Maryland and D.C.