November 30, 2020

Jennifer Psaki will be Joe Biden’s White House press secretary. Her selection means all of the senior staffers in the communications department will be women — believed to be a first among a White House administration.

The department will be headed up by Kate Bedingfield, who was Biden’s campaign communications director. She has been named White House communications director. (The Washington Post’s Annie Linskey and Jeff Stein broke the story and have a good breakdown of the Biden communications staff.)

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. These qualified, experienced communicators bring diverse perspectives to their work and a shared commitment to building this country back better.”

Psaki sent out a series of tweets about the news on Sunday, including one that said, “We can’t wait to share what we are thinking as we get closer to inauguration, but (deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre) and I spoke just this (morning) 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.”

Here’s a thought: How about having regular press briefings without lies? That would be a major step up from the Trump White House press secretaries, such as Kayleigh McEnany, Stephanie Grisham, Sarah Sanders and Sean Spicer.

Psaki was Barack Obama’s traveling press secretary during his 2008 presidential campaign and served as his White House communications director from April 2015 until Obama’s second term was up in January 2017. Before that, Psaki served as a spokesperson in the U.S. State Department and as a deputy communications director and deputy press secretary in the Obama White House.

For the past two years, she has been a CNN contributor, but left that post to join the Biden-Harris transition team. She’s a 2000 graduate of the College of William & Mary.

Tom Jones is Poynter’s senior media writer. For the latest media news and analysis, delivered free to your inbox each and every weekday morning, sign up for his Poynter Report newsletter.

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Tom Jones is Poynter’s senior media writer for He was previously part of the Tampa Bay Times family during three stints over some 30…
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