Kevin Lewis, who originally came to Washington under a special program then-Sen. Obama set up to train young minorities who wanted to work in politics and rose to become a spokesman in Obama’s White House, is departing this month to become the press secretary at the Department of Justice.
Lewis, 30, served first in the White House as an aide to Press Secretary Robert Gibbs and then has spent the three years as the director of African-American media, coordinating the administration’s outreach to black outlets. In addition to speaking to reporters, the Brooklyn native has organized off-the-record sessions in the Roosevelt Room between Obama and radio hosts like Tom Joyner and the Rev. Al Sharpton, set up the first ever African-American bloggers conference at the White House and traveled with both the First Lady and the president to South Africa.
He was selected as one of theGrio’s 100 in 2012.
Besides a short stint at the DCCC in 2006, the DOJ job will be the first time in his career Lewis won’t be working directly for Obama. After being one of the 10 people in the inaugural class of the “Yes We Can” training program Obama started back in 2005 to help diversify the ranks of political operatives, Lewis was one of the first aides to join the campaign’s press office in Chicago back in 2007.
“Kevin has been an outstanding member of the communications team and a great spokesperson for President Obama. It has been a pleasure to work closely with Kevin over the years and we thank him for his dedicated service,” said Valerie Jarrett, a senior White House adviser.
Lewis’ departure comes as many of the aides who worked on Obama’s first campaign and followed him to the White House have moved on over the past year. Pete Rouse, who was the president’s chief of staff in the Senate and then senior adviser at the White House, departed last month after eight years with Obama.