Meagher has worked for several top Democrats and served as national press secretary for Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign. Most recently, he has been the top spokesman at the Transportation Department, where Buttigieg is now secretary.
“We’ll miss Chris at the Department of Transportation, but it’s great news that he will serve in a new capacity as this administration works to build our country back better,” Buttigieg said.
Meagher grew up in Michigan and graduated with a journalism degree from Michigan State. After pursuing a career as a reporter, with six years at the Santa Barbara Independent, he began working in politics as a top press aide for then-Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.).
Meagher also worked for General Motors, as well as the Democratic parties in Colorado and Montana, and he served as communications director for the 2018 reelection campaign of Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.).
After Buttigieg dropped out of the 2020 presidential campaign, Meagher worked for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-Mich.), triggering speculation about her national ambitions at a time when she was under consideration to be President Biden’s running mate and faced attacks from former president Donald Trump.
Whitmer noted that Meagher’s stint with her came as she was confronting issues stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.
“Chris came to my office during a critical moment at the beginning of the most challenging time of my tenure,” she said. “He helped lead our communications strategy as we battled the pandemic and tried to get information out to the public, and we were fortunate to have him working on behalf of the state of Michigan.”
Unlike many of those around Biden, Meagher does not have deep ties to the president. While he worked at the Democratic National Committee during the general election campaign, he was never on Biden’s campaign staff.
He will be replacing Ducklo, who worked on Biden’s campaign from its earliest days. Ducklo’s resignation last month occurred amid fallout from a contentious phone call in which he threatened a female reporter who was working on a story about a potential conflict of interest stemming from his personal life.
Politico reported Friday that Meagher was under consideration for the new post.
“I am honored by this appointment, and look forward to supporting the important work President Biden and his team have been getting done on behalf of the American people over the last six weeks,” Meagher said in a statement.