Joe Biden picks all-women communications team, Jen Psaki to become press secretary: Here's a look at squad
Among other faces chosen for the new administration's press team are Kate Bedingfield, Elizabeth Alexander, Karine Jean-Pierre and others
Ever since Joe Biden was projected by the US media to win this year’s presidential election, curiosity has only gone up over the team that he finalizes to run the administration over the next four years. The selection of Kamala Harris as his running mate was found to be a politically conscious move in a polarized US and observers are keen to know who the former vice president chooses for other posts.
Recently, Biden chose a number of officials of the former Barack Obama administration to fill top posts in his incoming administration. Analysts felt the veteran is feeling pressure to maintain a balance in his picks so that both the moderate and progressive wings in the Democratic Party are kept in good humor.
The president-elect has now picked his communications team at the White House and it is an all-female unit led by his campaign communications director Kate Bedingfield. Jen Psaki, a longtime Democratic spokeswoman, has been chosen as the press secretary.
Among other picks for top communication roles are Elizabeth Alexander (communications director for incoming first lady Jill Biden), Ashley Etienne (communications director for next Vice President Kamala Harris), Karine Jean-Pierre (principal deputy press secretary), Symone Sanders (senior adviser and chief spokesperson for Harris) and Pili Tobar (deputy White House communications director).
In a statement, Biden said: “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. “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.”
Vice-president-elect Harris is set to receive his maiden presidential briefing on Monday, November 30, before meeting the transition advisers.
The press team members' past
Bedingfield was the deputy campaign manager and communications director for the Biden-Harris campaign and also served as Biden’s communications director when he was the vice-president. She also held a few posts in the Obama administration. Psaki, who currently oversees communications for the presidential transition, served as the White House communications director under former president Obama and as the state department spokesperson under former secretary of state John Kerry.
Alexander worked as a senior adviser on the Biden-Harris campaign and was also the press secretary to Biden when he was the veep in the Obama administration. Etienne has been a senior adviser to Harris’s campaign and communications director and senior adviser to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Jean-Pierre, who was in the run to become the press secretary, also served as a senior adviser to the Harris campaign besides the VP-elect’s chief of staff. Sanders has been a senior adviser to Biden’s campaign (she was an aide to Bernie Sanders in the 2016 election) and chief spokesperson for Harris. Tobar, a Guatemalan-American, has worked as communications director for coalitions on the campaign.
Trump’s term since 2017 saw his communications personnel holding a few press briefings with the president himself becoming his own press secretary. Also when they took place, the briefings were often accused of falsehoods and inaccuracies. Tha pattern could undergo a change and return to the days previous administrations saw as Biden’s transition team has held weekly briefings since he got elected as the president.