Anita Dunn, a senior adviser in Democrat President Joe Biden’s administration, previously worked for pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, a recently released ethics disclosure has revealed.
Aside from being a senior Biden adviser, Dunn is also a managing director of SKDKnickerbocker, a public affairs and political consulting firm that has forged connections with major political figures within the Democratic Party.
Dunn was the senior advisor to Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign and worked for the president in that same capacity from January 2021 through that August, when the COVID-19 pandemic was still in full swing.
She then returned for a brief stint from March 1 to 8 this year.
During that time, she was classified as a “special government employee,” according to The Washington Post.
Dunn also served as a former senior advisor and White House Communications Director for the Obama Administration.
She returned to the White House as an assistant and senior advisor to the president in May, meaning she was required by law to file a public disclosure form.
According to the recent disclosure, which was first reported by CNBC’s Brian Schwartz, Dunn has previously consulted for several major corporations over the past two years prior to her May appointment; advising AT&T, Lyft, Micron, Intra-Cellular Therapies, Salesforce, Reddit, and Pfizer.
Under “other assets and income” Dunn also lists Pfizer, and states that it has a value of $1,001 – $15,000 although the income amount states “None (or less than $201).”
Back in February 2021, Dunn was reported as saying that “Covid is the best thing that ever happened” to President Joe Biden.
The statement was revealed in the book “Lucky: How Joe Biden Barely Won the Presidency” by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes of NBC News and the Hill respectively.
The 93-page financial disclosure document (c) also shows that Dunn did consulting work for the D.C.–based renewables trade group American Clean Power Association; Pivotal Ventures, an investment and incubation company founded by Melinda French Gates; and the Center for American Progress Action, a liberal public policy research and advocacy organization.
She also did consulting work for the Ford Foundation, which according to its website, closely collaborates with governments as well as the private sector to help advance human welfare.
The recent disclosure also shows that Dunn and her husband Bob Bauer have a sizeable investment portfolio worth an estimated $16.8 million to $48.2 million, according to CNBC.
Those investments are in a string of tech giants, such as Amazon, Alphabet, Apple, Boeing, Bank of America, Chevron, Dow, KKR, and Morgan Stanley.
The couple’s portfolio also includes at least $500,000 tied up in a hedge fund.
Following the release of the recent disclosures, Jeff Hauser, Executive Director of the Revolving Door Project (RDP), a project of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), questioned exactly what Dunn could work on in her role as a White House senior adviser on policy issues due to various ethics issues.
“Anita Dunn consulted for Pfizer, so she shouldn’t work on healthcare issues,” Hauser said in a statement.
“She owns stock and has complex investments in Chevron, so she shouldn’t work on climate change.
“She has bond holdings in Lockheed Martin, so she shouldn’t work on military and foreign policy issues.
“She holds thousands of dollars of Wells Fargo and Visa debt, so she shouldn’t work on consumer credit issues.
“And she’s advised companies from Lyft to Salesforce to Reddit, so she shouldn’t work on most Big Tech issues.
“What’s left? If the White House is taking its ethical obligations seriously and recusing Dunn from all policy areas where she has money in the game, well, what will she even be doing?”
Hauser also noted that Dunn was previously considered a special government employee during her last posts at the White House and was thus able to avoid filing a public disclosure.
“This only underscores our concerns from Dunn’s two previous tours through the White House, when she tiptoed around disclosure laws and ethics pledges by only serving as a Special Government Employee,” Hauser said.
“Now that she’s finally filed a disclosure, we know she received consulting income from Pfizer.
“She previously advised the President during the COVID-19 vaccination boost early in his Presidency.
“How is remotely okay for a company making billions on government orders of its vaccine to get political and communications advice from a recent Presidential advisor, and then have that advisor head right back into the White House all while the pandemic rages on?
“This should be disclosed if it was going to happen, obviously, but the bigger issue is that it is happening at all.”
White House spokesman Chris Meagher told CNBC in an email on Thursday that Dunn would divest from her and her husband’s investment portfolio and is recused from all matters involving SKDK and her past clients.
The spokesperson said that Dunn will not be allowed to attend any meetings involving them for two years.