The Biden Administration has pledged to establish a Gender Policy Council that will be led by co-chairs Jennifer Klein and Julissa Reynoso.
(White House Press Release) On January 19th, President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris announced the formation of the White House Gender Policy Council, co-chaired by Jennifer Klein and Julissa Reynoso. President-elect Biden pledged to create a White House Council on Gender Equality, to guide and coordinate government policy that impacts women and girls, across a wide range of issues such as economic security, health care, racial justice, gender-based violence, and foreign policy, working in cooperation with the other White House policy councils.
President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris want a government-wide focus on uplifting the rights of girls and women in the United States and around the world, restoring America as a champion for women and girls. This stand-alone council will help shape issues across government in partnership with the Domestic Policy Council, National Economic Council, and the National Security Council.
“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.
“From health care, the economy, education, and national security — every issue is a women’s issue. This council and its two qualified and tested Co-Chairs will be key in marshaling every part of our government and working directly with communities to ensure all women and girls are entitled to equal rights and opportunities,” said Ambassador Susan Rice, incoming Director of the Domestic Policy Council.
Biographies of the White House Gender Policy Council Co-Chairs are listed below in alphabetical order:
Jennifer Klein, Co-Chair White House Gender Policy Council
Jennifer Klein is Chief Strategy and Policy Officer at TIME’S UP. Klein has worked on gender equality for over 25 years, including as a Co-Chair of the Women and Families Policy Committee and a member of Women for Biden during the Biden-Harris campaign, Senior Advisor on Women’s Issues on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, Deputy and Senior Advisor in the State Department’s Office of Global Women’s Issues, and as a Special Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy and First Lady Hillary Clinton’s senior domestic policy advisor at The White House. Klein has taught gender issues as an adjunct professor at Georgetown Law Center and a Senior Fellow at Brown University’s Watson Institute. Klein graduated from Brown University and Columbia Law School. She is from New York and lives in DC with her husband, Todd Stern, and three children.
Julissa Reynoso, Co-Chair White House Gender Policy Council
Julissa Reynoso is the incoming Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to Dr. Jill Biden. Prior to being designated as Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to Dr. Biden, Reynoso was a partner at the law firm of Winston & Strawn. During the Obama-Biden administration, 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. Previously, Reynoso served on the boards of several nonprofit and advocacy organizations and was on the faculty of Columbia Law School and Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs. She served as a trustee for New York-Presbyterian Hospital and for Columbia University, and was on the Board of Directors of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law and the Truman National Security Project. Reynoso was born in the Dominican Republic, migrated to the United States at the age of seven, and grew up in the Bronx, New York City. She clerked for Judge Laura Taylor Swain of the Southern District of New York and is a graduate of Harvard University, the University of Cambridge, and Columbia Law School.