As President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris wait until Jan. 20, 2021 to take office, the two have been assembling their staffs and their respective teams of advisors. The members of Harris' communications team have been revealed, and it includes several women of color.
Symone Sanders, a former senior advisor for Joe's presidential campaign, will serve as Kamala Harris' chief spokesperson, and as a senior advisor.
VP-elect Kamala confirmed Symone's hiring, in a tweet on Nov. 29. She also shared the names and titles for the six other women who would serve on the senior communications team.
"Our country is facing unprecedented challenges and to overcome them we need to communicate clearly, honestly, and transparently with the American people," she wrote. "This experienced, talented, and barrier-shattering team will do just that."
Symone herself responded with her thoughts on joining the staff.
"Ready to serve accurately describes how I feel," she tweeted. "Thank you Madam Vice President-elect Kamala Harris for entrusting me with this charge. It has been the honor of my life to work for Joe Biden & I am elated to have the opportunity to continue to that work in the PEOPLE'S HOUSE."
Before working with the Biden-Harris campaign, Symone was a political commentator. In addition, she was the national press secretary on Bernie Sanders' 2016 presidential campaign. Outside of her political work, Symone is a published author. She's also been in a long-term relationship for years.
Who is Symone Sanders' partner? He's been uber supportive of her career.
Who is Symone Sanders' partner?
The 30-year-old Omaha native has been in a relationship with Shawn Townsend for some time. The two reside together in the Southwest Waterfront neighborhood of Washington, D.C. In November of 2018, Shawn was named as the head of the District's Office of Nightlife and Culture aka the Nightlife Mayor.
Prior to getting that position, Shawn was an investigator for the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA).
He attended New Mexico State University, where he obtained a degree in journalism and mass communications. Aside from their work in D.C., both Shawn and Symone gush about their relationship online. When Symone's book, No, You Shut Up, was released in May of 2020, Shawn surprised her with a virtual book party. Symone shared on Instagram how much this meant to her.
"Today was a LONG work day. Like very long. As my last call was wrapping Shawn Townsend came into the office (our bedroom) and told me to come out to this zoom party for a friend of his," she wrote. "I came into the living for what was a zoom book party for me!!! So many of my loved ones joined this party and I cried like a baby..."
While promoting her book to Washingtonian, Symone noted that the best part of her quarantine was that she got to spend more time with her long-term beau.
"Dinner with Shawn," Symone answered when asked what her favorite quarantine activity was. "I used to be on the road 22-25 out of the 30 days in a month, so having dinner together is not something we used to do very often. It has been a blessing to be able to sit down at our dinner table, pour libations, and just talk about our virtual work days, the news, and catch up on our favorite shows."
When Symone's new job was announced, Shawn wrote that he was the "happiest man alive."
As if the surprise book party wasn't proof enough that Shawn was a supportive partner to Symone, he expressed on Instagram how proud he was of her new job title.
The D.C. nightlife director shared a photo of Symone and her new job description.
"Happiest man alive! Congrats Symone Sanders," he wrote in his caption. "Super proud of you.#KeepGoing #BlackGirlMagic."
When Symone takes on her new role, it's evident that she'll have Shawn in her corner.