Interior’s press team says both ‘goodbye’ and ‘welcome back’

By Michael Doyle | 06/06/2024 04:35 PM EDT

Tyler Cherry departs as the department’s communications director, while Melissa Schwartz will return.

Melissa Schwartz and Tyler Cherry

Melissa Schwartz (left) will serve as the Interior Department’s communications director as well as a senior counselor to Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and chief of staff to acting Deputy Secretary Laura Daniel-Davis. Tyler Cherry (right) is leaving as communications director for another position in the Biden administration. Francis Chung/POLITICO (Interior Department); DOI (Schwartz); LinkedIn (Cherry)

The Interior Department’s communications shop is losing one veteran political appointee and regaining another.

Tyler Cherry, who joined the Biden administration on its first day and has most recently held the title of Interior’s communications director, is departing. Melissa Schwartz, the previous communications director, is reclaiming her prior position while also holding onto two other Interior spots.

“I’ll have more to share in the coming weeks on my next steps, which will include continuing my work in the Biden-Harris administration to advance the President’s climate, conservation, and clean energy priorities,” Cherry said in an email, adding thanks to the department “for an enriching, thrilling, and successful three-and-a-half years.”


The UCLA graduate joined Interior in January 2021 after working for Biden’s presidential campaign in Arizona, at the liberal consulting firm SKDK and at Media Matters for America. Cherry also interned for former Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman and Democratic state Sen. Fran Pavley, both of California.