WASHINGTON – President-elect Joe Biden named his White House senior communication staff Sunday, choosing a team of women led by Jen Psaki, a veteran of President Barack Obama’s administration, as his press secretary.
Psaki, who wore many hats under Obama, including White House communication director, has overseen the confirmation team for Biden’s transition.
Turning to two top campaign aides, Biden tapped Kate Bedingfield as White House communications director, and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris chose Symone Sanders as senior adviser and chief spokesperson. Bedingfield worked as deputy campaign manager and communications director for the Biden-Harris campaign. Sanders was a senior adviser to the campaign.
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Other hires are: Elizabeth Alexander, communications director for first lady Jill Biden; Ashley Etienne, communications director for Harris; Karine Jean-Pierre, principal deputy press secretary; and Pili Tobar, deputy White House communications director.
Biden continues to build his Cabinet and White House staff, led by Ron Klain, though President Donald Trump refuses to concede the election.
“Communicating directly and truthfully to the American people is one of the most important duties of a President, and this team will be entrusted with the tremendous responsibility of connecting the American people to the White House,” Biden said in a statement. “I am proud to announce today the first senior White House communications team comprised entirely of women. These qualified, experienced communicators bring diverse perspectives to their work and a shared commitment to building this country back better.”
More: Ron Klain named Biden’s chief of staff, first White House official picked for administration
As press secretary, Psaki will become the public face of the Biden administration, a role that Kayleigh McEnany holds in Trump’s administration.
“I grew up through the hard fought battles of winning back the House, winning presidential campaigns and fighting for the Obama-Biden agenda with @KBeds and looking forward to the journey ahead,” Psaki said Sunday in a tweet.
We can’t wait to share what we are thinking as we get closer to inauguration, but @K_JeanPierre and I spoke just this am about taking the next few weeks to think outside of the box about how to ensure we are making the Biden-Harris agenda more accessible from the podium.
— Jen Psaki (@jrpsaki) November 29, 2020
Psaki was communications director for Obama during his final two years in office. She was earlier a spokeswoman for the State Department, handling daily briefings with the international media.
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As communications director in 2015 and 2016, Psaki reorganized the White House approach to media with more attention for nontraditional and online outlets. She served as traveling press secretary for Obama