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White House’s Head Of Hispanic And African-American Media Communications Sneaks Away From Role

Evie Fordham on August 9, 2018

The White House director of media affairs for Latino and African-American news outlets, Helen Aguirre Ferré, recently stepped down from the role she has held since January 2017 without an explanation to the public.

White House director of strategic communications Mercedes Schlapp acknowledged the departure to Univision Wednesday. The announcement comes on the heels of the June departure of Carlos Díaz-Rosillo, former deputy assistant to the president and director of policy and interagency coordination, reported Univision.

The White House has faced claims of a lack of diversity in its staff since the high-profile exit of former communications team member Omarosa Manigault Newman in December 2017.

“We greatly appreciate Helen’s work, service and dedication during her time in the White House. She will continue to work for the Administration in a different capacity,” Schlapp told Univision via email.

Schlapp will handle Aguirre Ferré’s former role dealing with Spanish language media “for now,” she said, according to The Hill. Schlapp did not say when Aguirre Ferré had vacated the position.

Aguirre Ferré had defended the administration’s immigration policy as recently as June at the Latina Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C., reported The Hill.

The White House website does not have a Spanish-language version, unlike the website under former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, reported The Hill. Aguirre Ferré had said the website would launch by the end of 2017.

Aguirre Ferré had not publicly announced her exit as of Thursday morning, when her Twitter bio still read “Special Assistant to the President and Director of Media Affairs.”

Prior to joining President Donald Trump’s administration, Aguirre Ferré had worked for former Republican Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s 2016 presidential campaign. She has also held the position of Hispanic communications director for the Republican National Committee, reported Newsweek.

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