President Trump is naming Brooke Rollins, a conservative lawyer and long-serving White House official, as acting domestic policy adviser, according to two senior administration officials.
As the acting director of the Domestic Policy Council, which oversees the president’s domestic agenda, Ms. Rollins will lead one of the least visible but most crucial bodies during Mr. Trump’s time in office. Ms. Rollins, who will succeed Joe Grogan, is stepping in as the president seeks to push several states to relax restrictions put in place to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Ms. Rollins has worked with Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, in the White House Office of American Innovation. Before joining the administration, she led the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a think tank based in Austin that was partly focused on criminal justice, a subject that Mr. Kushner, along with the president, has heralded as a signature initiative.
White House officials declined to comment. Mr. Grogan, who was appointed when Mick Mulvaney was the acting White House chief of staff, said two weeks ago that he planned to step down in May.
As Mr. Trump’s third policy adviser, Mr. Grogan was involved in a number of policy fronts, including changes to prescription drug pricing as well as the administration’s efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus. He was frequently at odds with Alex M. Azar II, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.
The White House staff secretary, Derek Lyons, had initially been floated as the successor to Mr. Grogan. Like Ms. Rollins, Mr. Lyons is close with Mr. Kushner, who has had a leading role in the administration’s response to the pandemic, including selecting a “czar” to focus on therapeutics and vaccine development.
Instead, Mr. Lyons will remain in his post, with his duties expanded to counselor to the president, giving him a larger portfolio in the final months of 2020.