- Her departure comes after the vice president faced a series of staff departures in her office late last year and into the beginning of 2022.
After nearly six years with Vice President Kamala Devi Harris, her longtime aide and advisor Rohini Kosoglu, is leaving her post next month. The Sri Lankan American currently serves as Harris’ domestic policy adviser. Kosoglu’s departure comes after Harris faced a series of staff departures in her office late last year and into the beginning of 2022.
With over 15 years of experience advising elected officials and candidates, Kosoglu has served in senior roles on national campaigns and Capitol Hill with expertise in managing large and complex organizations, according to her bio.
The mother of three sons ages 9, 6 and almost 3, told The Washington Post that she wants to spend more time with her family. She added that her departure should not be viewed as part of a pattern of staff instability. She said her boss understands that her family’s looking forward to her taking the time off. “I will always be here should she need any trusted information or counsel,” Kosoglu told The Post, and added that “even through this time period, she’s been an invaluable source of support and guidance to me to come to this decision.”
Meanwhile, Harris, in a statement on CNN, praised Kosoglu and said she would remain “a valued advisor and friend. “Rohini Kosoglu is a brilliant and trusted leader who has been at my side for years from the U.S. Senate to the campaign trail to the White House. She has brought vision, strategic judgment, and a depth of experience as our administration has addressed some of the most urgent challenges facing our nation. She is an exceptional public servant and I am enormously grateful for her service. Rohini will remain a valued advisor and friend.”
Kosoglu became Harris’s deputy chief of staff when she first joined the Senate in 2016, and has moved up the ranks of Harris’s inner circle in the years since. Since 2017, she served as a senior advisor to Harris in her U.S. Senate office and later in her presidential campaign. She was the first South Asian woman to serve as chief of staff to a U.S. Senator and was notably the only Asian American to serve in that role during her tenure.
During Harris’ presidential campaign, Kosoglu “managed and oversaw debate preparation, policy, communications, and operations for a team with over three-hundred staff with a $40 million budget.” As chief of staff to Harris in the U.S. Senate, her role included directing legislative strategy and leadership on key committees, including the Senate Judiciary, Homeland Security and Government Affairs, and Budget Committees. Kosoglu is credited with “creating a diverse and representative staff by developing a talent pipeline that led to the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies naming Harris’ office as the most diverse on Capitol Hill.”
Kosoglu’s career on Capitol Hill has also included positions with leading Democratic Senators, including Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.). During her tenure, Kosoglu led negotiations on numerous bipartisan legislation, with a focus on the economy and health care. Most notably, she served as a key advisor during the drafting and passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010.
According to her profile on the Harvard website, Kosoglu has received numerous awards for her legislative accomplishments, including the Rising Star Award from the Women’s Campaign Forum and organizations such as Pew Charitable Trust, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and the National Rural Health Association. She has also been a featured speaker for the Democratic National Committee, the National Education Association, and Kauffman Center for Venture Capital and Entrepreneurship.