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Monday, December 5, 2011

Vice Presidential Personnel Change

The Office of the Vice President announced today that Courtney O’Donnell, Director of Communications to Second Lady Jill Biden, will leave the White House to move to Berlin, Germany with her family where she plans to work on projects based in Europe.

O’Donnell served as Deputy communications director for the Bill Clinton Foundation from 2004 to 2009, and as deputy press secretary for the Elizabeth Edwards, Kerry-Edwards campaign in 2004. She also worked as the deputy communications director on the Howard Dean presidential campaign from 2003 to 2004.

She graduated from Georgetown University in 1988.

Dr. Jill Biden said about O'Donnell: “Since Inauguration Day, Courtney has served as a trusted advisor to me and our entire team. Her creativity and strategic thinking helped us build campaigns to showcase the strengths of community colleges, support our nation’s military families, fight breast cancer, and draw attention and resources to the issues in the Horn of Africa. Her expertise, graceful demeanor and tireless work ethic have been invaluable not just to me but to the entire office of the Vice President. Joe and I are extremely grateful for her tremendous contributions and we wish her all the best in her future endeavors.”

O'Donnell will be succeeded by Melanie Fonder Kaye, who most recently worked at a DC-area advertising and communications consulting firm.

Kaye comes to the White House from GMMB, where she provided strategic communications counsel on a variety of issues, including public health topics such as cancer, tobacco and obesity, health care reform, workforce and workplace issues, and education, among others. Before that, she served as Press Secretary to former Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle, both in his office and during his successful 2006 re-election campaign. Melanie also worked as a reporter for several years for publications including The Hill newspaper.  A native of Wisconsin, Kaye received her Bachelors of Arts from St. Norbert College and began work on her master’s degree at the University of Wisconsin’s Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs.

Kaye is also a Georgetown University graduate.   She was a former reporter for the The Green Bay News-Chronicle, a staff writer for The Hill newspaper, and an Associate Editor for WisPolitics.com, and is the co-author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to American Government. 

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