Cedric Richmond, a senior adviser to President Biden, is expected to step down from his position next month, becoming one of the first senior White House aides to leave the administration as Democrats brace for a difficult midterm election.
Mr. Richmond has informed Mr. Biden of his intentions, according to Democrats familiar with the conversation. Mr. Richmond expected to enter the private sector but also advise the Democratic National Committee, which has not forged a close relationship with the White House.
The White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, alluded to Mr. Richmond’s new position on Monday, telling reporters that when the press office has “something to announce, it will involve a new important role for Cedric Richmond,” something the president is “excited about and has asked him to do.”
A former Louisiana congressman and onetime chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Mr. Richmond was one of Mr. Biden’s earliest enthusiasts ahead of the 2020 campaign, urging him to run and then endorsing his candidacy.
After claiming the presidency, Mr. Biden named Mr. Richmond as a top White House aide and liaison to the business community, making him one of the most prominent African Americans in the administration.
The former lawmaker, who retains deep relationships with House Democrats, also worked on high-profile issues including voting rights and police reform, but he often strained to unite progressive activists and lawmakers at a moment his party has the thinnest of congressional majorities.
Mr. Richmond was one of a handful of high-profile Black officials in the White House and he grew close to the president over their shared affection for golf. He played a round in Mr. Biden’s native Delaware last weekend.
Mr. Richmond won’t be leaving Mr. Biden’s orbit entirely. He has had discussions about serving as an outside consultant to the D.N.C., where Chairman Jaime Harrison clashed with West Wing officials during the president’s first year in office.
Mr. Richmond is very close to Mr. Harrison’s political mentor, Representative James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, and is expected to be a conduit between the committee, Congress and the White House.
Mr. Richmond is unlikely to be the last top White House aide to leave this year.
While Vice President Kamala Harris has suffered the most early turnover — losing key aides like Symone Sanders and Tina Flournoy — West Wing officials are also starting to head for the exits.
Ms. Psaki, as well, has been clear she will leave the administration and a handful of other aides may also quit after the midterm elections. Jeffrey Zients, Mr. Biden’s Covid czar, also recently left his post and Gina McCarthy, the White House climate adviser, is said to be doing so in the coming weeks, too.
Mr. Biden’s longtime communications adviser, Anita Dunn, stepped away last year but is expected to return to the White House later this year.