Raffel originally joined the Trump administration to work on the White House Office of American Innovation, led by Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser. But his role quickly expanded last year, as he handled communications for Kushner and his wife Ivanka Trump, and later was promoted to deputy communications director. Axios first reported on his departure.
Raffel is returning to New York and is citing family obligations. He will go back to the private sector.
Before Raffel joined Blumhouse in 2015, he worked for Hiltzik Strategies and represented Kushner Companies.
“Josh is honest, passionate, and thoughtful,” Ivanka Trump said in a statement. “Whether it was offering strategic guidance on the communications for tax reform or a foreign trip, Josh’s guidance was invaluable. The White House won’t be the same without him.”
Others in the administration also issued statements.
Jason Greenblatt, special representative for the president on international negotiations, said that Raffel “was an integral part of our peace team and became a close friend. He guided all of us through the process of communicating serious and complex issues that impact people across the world.”
Gary Cohn, Trump’s chief economic adviser, said, “Josh has been a trusted partner as we worked to enact the President’s economic agenda and passed historic tax reform. He is focused and thoughtful in our day-to-day operations and in driving a policy roll-out, and he will be missed.”