Like most Hyundai employees in California, where COVID-19 cases are surging, she's working from home.
Getting there wasn't easy. White, who is Black, and her 6-foot-4 brother packed up a Palisade crossover and headed out for the long drive from Washington, D.C., near her native Virginia, to California.
The first day, June 1, they made it as far as St. Louis, where protests over the killing of George Floyd turned from peaceful in the daytime to violent at night. Four police officers were shot.
"It was really nerve-wracking," said White, 43. Especially as it occurred to her that they had no paperwork for the company car that had her name or her brother's name on it — just the registration and proof of insurance designating it as part of the company fleet.
New colleagues in California and Washington quickly scrambled and within an hour, the siblings had documentation and could continue the journey with confidence.
"That was important to at least these two Black lives," she said.
Starting a new job during a crisis is nothing new to White. On her first day as press secretary for the Department of Defense, the U.S. fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles on Syria in retaliation for its use of chemical weapons against unarmed civilians.
"It was amazing how quickly her fresh set of eyes saw things," recalled then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. She immediately identified gaps in what the department was planning to say and provided language to better explain the message. "And we came out of that at a very partisan time — you'll remember it's only a few months after the election — with the full support basically of the House and the Senate, Republican and Democrat. And I'd say in no small part because of her quick stepping up."