September 24, 2022

Announcing WHCA Board changes

WHCA President and NPR White House Correspondent Tamara Keith shared news about board leadership with the membership on Saturday, September 24th. 

Dear WHCA Members: As you know, Kaitlan Collins, who was elected to an at-large seat on the WHCA board in July and to the presidency for 2024/25, has gotten an exciting new opportunity anchoring a new morning program on CNN, based in New York. Today she delivered a resignation letter to the board, where she expressed gratitude to the membership and her fellow board members, saying in part that leaving her position with the WHCA is “an unfortunate aspect of an exciting opportunity.”

WHCA counsel George Lehner has carefully reviewed the organization’s bylaws and prepared a memo (see below for full memo) about the rules for succession. The bylaws are unequivocal: Eugene Daniels of Politico, elected to the New Media seat in July with 398 votes, will be president of the WHCA in 2024/25. From Lehner’s memo: 

The WHCA By-Laws provide as follows:

“In the event that the person receiving the most votes for the office of President is unable to serve in that capacity prior to assuming the office of President, the person elected as Treasurer shall become President…”  WHCA By-Laws, Article VII (1)(e).

              The WHCA By-Laws further provide that:

“The Treasurer shall be the member of the Executive Board in the third year of his or her term, other than President, who received the most votes at the time of his or her election.”  WHCA By-Laws, Article VII (1)(c).

              Based on the results of the most recent election, Eugene Daniels received the most votes, other than Ms. Collins, at the time of his election to the Board.  He would, therefore, be expected to assume the role of Treasurer during his third year on the Board at the same time that Ms. Collins would assume the role of President.  However, because Ms. Collins is unable to assume that role, Mr. Daniels, as the person receiving the most votes, other than Ms. Collins, at the time of his election to the Board, would be entitled to assume the position of President for the 2024-2025 term.

As the board told Eugene in a meeting held this morning via Zoom, we are truly grateful he is willing to accept the call to service. Please join us in congratulating him on becoming WHCA president in 2024/25!! His first act as president-in-waiting will be to send the Week Ahead this weekend. 

Eugene has written a note to the membership (also below) in which he says: “I am both humbled and full of excitement to serve and for all that we will do together. The importance of a free press, access to our elected leaders, and essential fact-based reporting about the politicians, policy, and people of our country has never been more important. Defending these causes is no longer enough, we must advocate for and advance them. The WHCA is crucial in these efforts and I am truly honored to serve both during and after the next presidential election when defending and preserving democracy will be at its most vital.”

Eugene will immediately join the executive committee along with vice president Kelly O’Donnell (president 2023/24) and myself. We, and the rest of the WHCA board, advocate for the White House press corps every single day on matters large and small, visible and unseen. And as always, we want to hear from you when concerns come up, or even if something just worked well.

The question of the 2024/25 presidency settled, the bylaws also call for a special election to be held to fill the remainder of Kaitlan’s term as an At-Large representative on the board.

Read the full succession memo here.

Read Eugene Daniel’s full letter here. 

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