With a campaign relying more and more on a virtual presence due to the COVID-19 pandemic, former vice president and 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden has expanded his campaign team, adding Indian American Medha Raj as digital chief of staff.
In addition to Raj, Biden announced several new hires June 23 to account for his almost entirely virtual campaign trail, according to a CNN report.
Raj was joined by Clarke Humphrey as the new deputy digital director for grassroots fundraising; Jose Nunez as the digital organizing director; and Christian Tom as the new director of digital partnerships.
The four hires – whose collective experience includes digital work on the Democratic presidential campaigns of Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg and Hillary Clinton and online expertise from companies like Twitter and NowThis – will be devoted to online organizing, content and grassroots fundraising.
The public health crisis has effectively halted traditional in-person campaigning, so Biden's operation hopes to empower voters to organize from anywhere across the country, online and offline, working in tandem with organizers on the ground who are building relationships with voters, the report said.
Raj will work across all facets of the digital department to streamline and coordinate how to maximize the impact of its digital outputs. She comes from former Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg's campaign.
“Excited to share that I've joined Joe Biden's campaign as the Digital Chief of Staff. 130 days to the election and we're not going to waste a minute!” Raj wrote on her LinkedIn profile.
Raj is based out of the Los Angeles area in Southern California. She worked for eight months on the Buttigieg campaign, from August 2019 to March 2020.
A graduate of Georgetown University (bachelor’s) and Stanford (M.B.A.), Raj was a research assistant for Real Institute Elcano in Spain; a consultant at Deloitte; on the strategy team for Flippable.org; and the investment team at Higher Ground Labs.
She also served in the office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti; and on the Gavin Newsom’s Gavin for Governor campaign in 2018.
The Biden campaign initially struggled to gain footing against the President Donald Trump campaign's competitive online presence, but the new staff indicates the campaign's investment in its digital strategy.
The hires come on the heels of its largest virtual fundraising event to date, according to the CNN report.
An online fundraiser held with former President Barack Obama recently raised $7.6 million from 175,000 grassroots donors, including 65,000 first-time donors, the campaign said.
An additional $3.4 million was raised from big donors, rounding the total to $11 million, the campaign's biggest fundraiser to date. The virtual event also generated 120,000 viewers, 10,000 volunteer sign-ups and 1,500 merchandise orders, the report said.
The campaign has tripled its online donor base since February, and more than 1 million new supporters have joined the campaign since the beginning of June, according to a Biden campaign aide, it said.