Who is Catherine St-Laurent? Meghan Markle and Harry’s chief of staff quits 11 months into job: ‘She wanted out’
She previously held the position of director at Pivotal Ventures -- Melinda Gates' women and families foundation -- and held a top communications role at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Sussexes were proud to have her in their ranks
The aftermath of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's tell-all interview continues to have steady developments. Recent reports say the couple's chief of staff reportedly "wanted out" after finding herself "having to fulfill a great many functions for the couple," according to insiders. Catherine St-Laurent left her post just 11 months into the job, however, she will continue to work with the Archewell Foundation in an "advisory role."
Talking to The Telegraph, one of the sources said, "I think there was a sense that she was having to fulfill a great many functions for the couple – not all of which were necessarily in her job spec." The former Chief of Staff took to LinkedIn to post an official statement, "It’s been a privilege working closely with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex helping to establish Archewell Foundation in its first year." She added, "Their commitment to compassion and wellbeing has been the undercurrent of all our activities both within the organization as well as with impactful projects of the foundation on the ground. I am deeply proud of what we’ve accomplished together and I’m honored to remain on as an advisor."
Who is Catherine St-Laurent?
The former Chief of Staff took up her position with the Archewell Foundation in April 2020. St-Laurent previously held the position of director at Pivotal Ventures -- Melinda Gates' women and families foundation -- and held a top communications role at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. According to the Daily Mail, she was described as "feisty, fair and up for a tough conversation" by one of her friends who also added, "But if all goes wrong, she is good for a laugh and a cocktail afterwards. She's a good egg. She'll bring a clean-sheet perspective."
The Sussexes were pretty happy with their appointment as well saying they were proud to have St-Laurent in their ranks. "Her leadership and proven track record working within two organizations that have a tremendous impact in the world — the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Pivotal Ventures make her an incredible asset and we're excited to have her on our team," they said after her hiring.
St-Laurent, a mother of two, will be replaced as the foundation's executive director by Harry and Meghan's current communications officer in the UK, James Holt. According to Tatler, Holt has worked with the couple since their days as part of the Royal Foundation. A Sussex source said, "He will lead Archewell’s mission to 'to uplift and unite communities through acts of compassion.'"
St-Laurent's departure came as a surprise to one of the insiders who called her a "huge appointment." The insider added, "A big hitter with a great track record, poached to head up their new working life in the US. It is really quite astonishing she has left that role after less than a year."