Who is Anna Ruch? Obama administration member accuses Andrew Cuomo of trying to kiss her in an 'aggressive' way

According to Ruch, the New York Governor put his hand on her lower back when the two met at a wedding in September 2019


                            Who is Anna Ruch? Obama administration member accuses Andrew Cuomo of trying to kiss her in an 'aggressive' way
Anna Ruch, a former member of the Obama administration has accused Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment at a wedding in September 2019 (annaruch.com, Getty Images)

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has been accused of sexual harassment for a third time, this time by someone outside of his staff. Anna Ruch, a former member of the Obama administration accused Cuomo of sexual harassment at a wedding in September 2019. The revelation comes as the Governor is struggling to battle the fallout from being accused of harassment in the workplace by two former aides. 

Chole Bennett and Lindsey Boylan have both accused Cuomo of harassment at work, raising concerns about Cuomo's conduct in office. Ruch's account now only adds fuel to the fire, leading many to worry if Cuomo's behavior isn't just limited to the office. The shocking revelations come as Cuomo has asked New York Attorney General Tish James to investigate the claims made by Bennett and Boylan. The Governor is also facing calls to resign, as his handling of the Covid-19 crisis in care homes continues to make headlines. As of now, no major Democratic politicians have called on Cuomo to resign, but several like Pelosi, Ocasio-Cortez and Hillary Clinton have all called for investigations into the allegations. 

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Cuomo and Ruch in a photo taken by Ruch's friend from the event. (Evan Hill, Twitter)

'I was so confused and shocked and embarrassed'

Ruch detailed her encounter with Cuomo in an interview with the New York Times. She said she felt "confused and shocked and embarrassed” after the incident, which was corroborated by a friend and images from the event. According to her, Cuomo put his hand on her lower back when the two met at the wedding. Ruch had gone to congratulate Cuomo for the speech he made. When she removed his hand, he reportedly placed them on her cheeks in what Ruch describes as an "aggressive" manner. Cuomo also allegedly asked if he could kiss Ruch.

While she attempted to pull away, Cuomo reportedly kissed her cheek. "I didn’t have a choice in that matter. I didn’t have a choice in his physical dominance over me at that moment. And that’s what infuriates me," she said. She also tried to find Cuomo later and confront him over the issue, but couldn't. "I wanted to say, ‘That wasn’t OK,'" she told the paper. A friend captured the incident in a series of photographs on her phone according to the paper. 

There is also text message evidence, with Ruch telling someone (the report doesn't mention who) that she was "pissed" at the Governor. 

Anna Ruch (@annaruch, Twitter)

Who is Anna Ruch?

Ruch served as the Photo Office Director of Operations and Photo Editor at the White House between 2014 and 2017. She was also a Special Assistant at the Department of Energy during Obama's second term. During Biden's presidential campaign, Ruch also served as a Voter Activation Director. The 33-year-old also had a brief stint at Instagram, where she worked as an Editorial Producer. She also has her own website 'Anna Ruch Photography'.

Ruch graduated from Bradley University in 2008 with a degree in political science, before pursuing a BA in the subject at DePaul University. She also has an MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies from Oxford University, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Ruch is also one of the LGBTQ White House staff members, part of the historic first 'class photo' in 2016. She is originally from North West Illinois. There is little other public information about her.