“Rufus will focus on places where finance intersects with policy and political work and will also occasionally serve as a spokesperson for the campaign,” said one person familiar with the move, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the hire was not yet public.
The hiring is the second major move by Jen O’Malley Dillon, Biden’s recently appointed campaign manager, in less than a week. She replaced the chief executive at the Democratic National Committee Friday with Mary Beth Cahill, a party adviser and former campaign manager for the 2004 Democratic nominee, John F. Kerry.
Gifford will join two other deputy campaign managers — Kate Bedingfield, who focuses on communications strategy, and Pete Kavanaugh, who has focused on field operations. Both will continue their roles, the person said.
O’Malley Dillon has been running the campaign for nearly seven weeks, during an unprecedented time of social distancing, and continues to craft a general election strategy, according to people familiar with the move. She replaced Greg Schultz, Biden’s first campaign manager, who now coordinates operations between the campaign and the national party.
The Biden campaign has also recently brought on Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s former fundraisers, Michael Pratt and Colleen Coffey, as senior advisers. The pair worked for Warren going back to her 2012 Senate bid and briefly worked on her presidential campaign, but left when she decided not to hold any high-dollar fundraising events.
Until the most recent moves, which included the signing of a joint fundraising agreement with the national party, O’Malley has offered scant public hints of her plans for summer and fall.
Gifford served as an adviser to Obama during his first White House bid in 2008, finance director for Democratic National Committee during Obama’s first term and a national finance director for Obama during the 2012 reelection.
Obama appointed Gifford as ambassador to Denmark in 2013, following his reelection.
Gifford publicly endorsed Biden in January. He recently was involved in arranging a virtual Biden campaign fundraiser for Obama administration and campaign alumni, which is scheduled for this Friday, with the vice president expected to attend from his Delaware home.
Sean Sullivan and Annie Linskey contributed to this report.