Oak Park resident tapped for Education Department spot in Biden administration

Sheila Nix will be chief of staff in the Education Department. Claudia Chavez, who served in Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s City Hall and was the Biden campaign’s midwest deputy director, will be the department’s White House liaison.

SHARE Oak Park resident tapped for Education Department spot in Biden administration
March, 2020 photo at Biden Illinois campaign event in Chicago. Sheila Nix (left) with Chris Dunn.

Sheila Nix (left), shown at a March 2020 campaign event, is joining the Biden administration as chief of staff in the Education Department. She led the Biden Illinois team with Chris Dunn (right).

Lynn Sweet/Sun-Times

WASHINGTON — Sheila Nix, an Oak Park resident who was a senior adviser in President Joe Biden’s campaign, will join the administration as chief of staff in the U.S. Department of Education.

When ex-President Barack Obama was in the White House, Nix was chief of staff for then second lady Jill Biden, the new first lady.

Last summer, after Biden tapped Vice President Kamala Harris to be his running mate, Nix became a senior campaign adviser to Harris, at the time a senator from California.

Claudia Chavez, who served in Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s City Hall and was the Biden campaign’s midwest deputy director, will be White House liaison in the Education Department.

Claudia Chavez, who served in Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s City Hall and was the Biden campaign’s midwest deputy director, will be White House liaison in the Education Department.

Claudia Chavez, who served in Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s City Hall and was the Biden campaign’s midwest deputy director, will be White House liaison in the Education Department.

Lynn Sweet/Sun-Times

The Nix and Chavez appointments were announced by the department on Thursday, a day after Biden’s inauguration. Biden’s choice for Education Secretary, Miguel Cardona, has not yet been confirmed.

Nix, along with Democratic activist Chris Dunn, led the Illinois Biden campaign. Before that, Nix had been Jill Biden’s chief of staff from April 2013 to the last day of the Obama/Biden administrations — Jan. 20, 2017.

During the 2012 Obama reelection campaign, with headquarters in Chicago, Nix was chief of staff for then-Vice President Biden.

She is 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.

While in Emanuel’s City Hall, Chavez was a deputy in the Office of Legislative Counsel and Government Affairs. She is a graduate of Illinois State University.`

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