National Endowment for the Arts Announces New Biden-Harris Appointees

Photos of Dewhirst and Schwartz

Diane Dewhirst (left), NEA senior deputy chairperson, and Hannah Schwartz, NEA director of strategic priorities and projects

Washington, DC— The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) today announced the appointment of Diane Dewhirst, senior deputy chairperson, and Hannah Schwartz, director of strategic priorities and projects, as political appointees for the Biden-Harris Administration at the agency.

Both appointees will work closely with the NEA staff to continue its work to support the arts community and most immediately to implement the American Rescue Plan as signed into law by President Biden earlier this spring. With a focus on equity, access and inclusion, this critical funding will provide relief funds to help the arts recover from the pandemic, create jobs, and rebuild the foundations of creative communities. They join four other appointees, announced last February.

Diane Dewhirst, Senior Deputy Chairperson

Diane Dewhirst brings more than 30 years of experience in the national legislative policy and political arenas to the National Endowment for the Arts. She served in the office of Speaker Nancy Pelosi for more than 15 years, most recently as deputy chief of staff, where she managed a portfolio that included women’s economic agenda and intergovernmental affairs, and served as liaison to the House Democratic Women's Caucus. She represented Speaker Pelosi and the House of Representatives with an array of leading national cultural institutions, including the Smithsonian Institution, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Library of Congress, National Archives, and National Gallery of the Art, as well as entities across the country. Prior to her work in the House of Representatives, Dewhirst served as an independent consultant for organizations that include the Smithsonian, Children's Defense Fund, Center for Budget Policy and Priorities, and the Alliance for Justice. Dewhirst began her Capitol Hill career in the office of Senate Majority Leader George J. Mitchell (D-ME), where she served as communications director and national spokesperson. Prior to her experience on Capitol Hill, she served at the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, ABC News, and the Democratic National Committee.

Hannah Schwartz, Director of Strategic Priorities & Projects

Hannah Schwartz comes to the National Endowment for the Arts with more than a decade of political and nonprofit experience, focused on communications and fundraising. Most recently she served as the Biden for President campaign’s Mid-Atlantic finance director and a fundraiser for the Biden-Harris transition. Before joining the Biden campaign, Schwartz served as the Mid-Atlantic development director for Share Our Strength (No Kid Hungry), where she worked closely with former First Lady of Virginia Dorothy McAuliffe to lead a Virginia-focused fundraising campaign to end childhood hunger. Schwartz worked on several statewide campaigns in Virginia, including those for Senator Tim Kaine, Senator Mark Warner, and Attorney General Mark Herring. Schwartz’s work for nonprofits includes Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the ONE Campaign, and Business Forward.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit to learn more.


NEA Public Affairs,