Who is Jen Psaki? Obama's 'irreplaceable' aide who helped tide over 2008 financial crisis to join Joe Biden’s team

'Jen worked on both my campaigns, she’s served in the White House, and she’s traveled the world as an adviser to Secretary Kerry,' Obama said in 2015


                            Who is Jen Psaki? Obama's 'irreplaceable' aide who helped tide over 2008 financial crisis to join Joe Biden’s team
Jen Psaki and Joe Biden (Getty Images)
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With Democrat leader Joe Biden becoming the President-elect, many notable personalities from all walks of life are joining forces with his administration. This includes several journalists like three MSNBC contributors Barbara McQuade, political analyst Richard Stengel, and health expert Dr Ezekiel Emanuel.

From CNN, there is Jen Psaki who has reportedly left the network this week to join the Biden-Harris transition team as a senior advisor. They are all leaving their paid jobs after being tapped to join Biden’s coterie. This comes after Joe Biden is taking up all efforts to make his transition team before the Inauguration Day in January 2021 where he and his VP-elect will swear in and take the Oval office.

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Biden’s transition team

According to tradition, as soon as the president is elected, he has to spend a three-month interregnum period ahead of Inauguration Day. That period is used to make up the future POTUS’ administrative team, announcing policy proposals, nominating Cabinet members and familiarizing themselves with classified federal sources based information.

This transition period is governed by the Presidential Transition Act, which was established in 1963. The transition period helps the President-elect to prepare to take the office by providing funding, facilities and access to government services post-Election Day. 

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In the present scenario, after the November 3 elections President-elect Joe Biden and his team are currently facing challenges to access these resources as his rival candidate Republican Donald Trump-appointed General Services Administration refused to provide access. This comes after Trump’s regime disputes over the authenticity and validity of the election results.

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However, Biden is ramping up efforts to build his transition team anyhow. According to Associated Press, he will be building a staff and assembling the pieces required to deal with the raging Covid-19 pandemic. So far Biden and VP elect have named 16 key government and industry leaders to their advisory board. 

Other members on their team include Anita Dunn, senior adviser to Biden's campaign; New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham; former Delaware Sen. Ted Kaufman to name some. The journalists and lawyers from esteemed networks have also joined Biden’s transition team. MSNBC's Barbara McQuade, Richard Stengel, and Dr Ezekiel Emanuel have left the network to join the Biden Administration 

MSNBC's Barbara McQuade, a former US Attorney appointed by former President Barack Obama, has taken up a role with Biden's Department of Justice agency review team after serving as a legal expert for MSNBC since 2017. Richard Stengel, one of MSNBC's original on-air analysts will pilot Biden's US Agency for Global Media team. Dr Ezekiel Emanuel has left MSNBC as he is appointed to Biden's Coronavirus Task Force and CNN's Jen Psaki has left the network to join the Biden-Harris team as a senior adviser. 

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Who is Jen Psaki?

Born in 1978, Jennifer Rene Psaki is a former White House Communications Director. She earlier served as the spokesperson for the United States Department of State and has taken up many communications and press-related roles in Obama’s administration. She is also a contributor to the news network CNN.

In her career run, Psaki served as a senior advisor and traveling press secretary for Obama campaigns during the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections. She also served as deputy White House communications director where she worked with the economic team amid the 2008 financial crisis.  
 
Between 2013-15, Psaki was the spokesperson at the State Department under the secretary of state John Kerry. After that, she served as White House communications director in Barack Obama’s regime from 2015-17. “Jen worked on both my campaigns, she’s served in the White House, and she’s traveled the world as an adviser to Secretary Kerry,” Obama said in 2015.

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“I fully trust Jen – and I am thrilled she’s agreed to come back to the White House as communications director.” He added, “I’d say Jen is irreplaceable – if Jen Psaki hadn’t agreed to step in.” At that time, Psaki had to deal with how to assist Obama in dealing with the newly empowered Republican Party. She was to deal with Obama’s troubles in the form of court challenges he faced on the Affordable Care Act and his actions on immigration.
 
Psaki is described by the New York Times as “the unflappable and genial point-person” to media during the various crises that occurred in Obama’s tenure, Carnegie Endowment reported. She had been a contributor to CNN and has also written for publications like The Hill and Refinery29.

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