Biden adviser and ‘defender’ leaving White House for senior post at EPA


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Todd Zubatkin, one of U.S. President Joe Biden’s top researchers and fact checkers since the early days of his 2020 campaign, is leaving the White House to become a senior adviser at the Environmental Protection Agency, the White House said on Tuesday.

Zubatkin, who currently serves as deputy director for research at the White House, possessed encyclopedic knowledge of Biden’s legislative record dating back to the 1980s and was responsible for fact checking Biden’s State of the Union speeches and other major addresses, administration sources said.

After working with the Simpson-Bowles Commission created in 2010 by then-President Barack Obama to study Washington’s debt problem, Zubatkin played a big role in defending Obama’s Affordable Care Act against moves to repeal the signature legislation during the presidency of Donald Trump.

He will face big challenges at EPA, which Republicans have sought to dismantle for years, and is in the limelight now after an Ohio train derailment and toxic spill.

Over the past two years, Zubatkin was the lead researcher shaping communications on economic issues and legislation including the Inflation Reduction Act, and the bipartisan infrastructure law, as well as Ukraine and the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson.


White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield, who is also leaving the administration, said Zubatkin proved himself to be “a brilliant defender of the President’s record and his policies at critical moments.”

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal and Trevor Hunnicutt; Editing by Marguerita Choy)