Biden appoints Palestinian-American woman to senior White House role
US President-elect Joe Biden on Monday appointed a Palestinian-American woman to serve as a senior member of his White House staff.
Reema Dodin, who is currently a volunteer on the President-elect’s transition team, will take the post of deputy director of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs, alongside Shuwanza Goff.
She will be the first ever Palestinian-American to serve as a member of the White House staff, Palestinian media reported.
Dodin was born in the US to Jordanian-Palestinian parents who came originally from the village of Dura near Hebron in the West Bank.
As part of her volunteering efforts, she has led the Biden-Harris transition team’s engagement with members of the US Congress. She also currently serves as the deputy chief of staff and floor director to Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, the Democratic whip in the US Senate.
Prior to this, Dodin served on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law, among a number of other positions. Before her involvement with the Biden team, she campaigned for former US President Barack Obama.
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She graduated from the the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is also a Truman National Security Fellow and a member of the Jenkins Hill Society – a group which supports and promotes women’s participation in politics.
Dodin has also campaigned for Palestinian rights for a long time. In 2001, during the second Palestinian intifada, she took part in a protest at UC Berkeley calling for the university to divest from Israel.
On Monday current US President Donald Trump, who is still disputing Biden’s victory in the 2020 US presidential elections, agreed to allow the US’s General Service Administration to begin work on a transition to a Biden-led administration.