Biden names Oak Park’s Sheila Nix to be Vice President Kamala Harris’ campaign chief of staff

In 2020, Nix was campaign chief of staff for then-Sen. Kamala Harris when she joined the Biden ticket.

SHARE Biden names Oak Park’s Sheila Nix to be Vice President Kamala Harris’ campaign chief of staff
Sheila Nix Kamala Harris Doug Emhoff Jim Coughlan

Sheila Nix, second from right, is the Oak Parker who will be campaign chief of staff for Vice President Kamala Harris, second from left. Also pictured are Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, left, and Nix’s husband, Jim Coughlan, right.


WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Wednesday named Sheila Nix — who lived in Oak Park before joining his administration in 2021 — as the campaign chief of staff for Vice President Kamala Harris.

It’s a role Nix, a one-time deputy governor in Illinois, knows well.

Nix has long ties to Joe and Jill Biden. In President Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign, which was headquartered in Chicago, Nix was campaign chief of staff for then-Vice President Biden.

Nix was Dr. Jill Biden’s chief of staff from April 2013 to the last day of the Obama/Biden administration, Jan. 20, 2017.

In 2020, Nix served as campaign chief of staff for then Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., when Harris was picked to be Biden’s running mate.

Nix, currently the chief of staff for Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, will join the Biden-Harris 2024 reelection campaign in July.

“Sheila Nix is a battle-tested leader and dedicated public servant, and I am grateful she has agreed to join our 2024 campaign,” Harris said in a statement.

“Sheila is no stranger to campaigns or the Biden-Harris team. Sheila’s strategic sense and ability to navigate challenges made her an invaluable advisor to me on our 2020 general election team. President Biden and I will continue to rely on Sheila’s advice and skill,” the statement said.

Nix told the Sun-Times the campaign job came about “because I had worked with the vice president before, I feel like I’ve developed a bit of a speciality on the vice presidential side.”

Nix, along with Democratic activist Chris Dunn, was a leader in the 2020 Illinois Biden campaign.

Before joining the Biden administration, she was the president of Tusk Philanthropies. Nix and Brad Tusk, who founded the nonprofit, served together in the administration of ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich, where Nix was a deputy governor. She went on become the U.S. executive director of Bono’s ONE Campaign.

Nix is a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School with an undergraduate degree from Creighton University. She was raised in Palatine and is a Palatine High School graduate.

She said she expected Harris to be deployed to battleground states and will be focusing on reproductive rights, among other issues. June 24 marks one year since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, ending federal safeguards allowing abortions. She will also work on gun safety and highlighting Biden White House achievements, such as the infrastructure bill.

“In this job, I’m looking forward to helping voters understand the stark choices before them in the 2024 presidential election,” Nix said.

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