“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 in an apparent dig at President Donald Trump’s own communications staff.
“I am proud to announce today the first senior White House communications team comprised entirely of women,” he added. “These qualified, experienced communicators bring diverse perspectives to their work and a shared commitment to building this country back better.”
The group of seven women will include a longtime aides and Democratic stalwarts who have deep experience in Washington, led by Kate Bedingfield as White House communications director and Jen Psaki as White House press secretary.
“I’m unspeakably proud to have the opportunity to serve as White House Communications Director for [Joe Biden],” Bedingfield wrote on Twitter. “Working for him as VP and on this campaign gave me insight into what kind of capable, compassionate, clear-eyed president he will be, and it will be a profound honor to be one small part of his work.”
“This is a team of some of the most talented, battle-tested communicators out there … who are also all women, most diverse team in history and also 6 Moms of young kids,” Psaki tweeted after the announcement.
All of the names were released at once to “signal that the various top administration offices will coordinate closely,” top Biden campaign aide Anita Dunn told The Washington Post.
The other women on the team: Elizabeth Alexander, who will serve as communications director for first lady Jill Biden; Ashley Etienne, communications director for Vice President-elect Kamala Harris; Karine Jean Pierre, principal deputy press secretary; Symone Sanders, senior advisor and chief spokesperson for Harris; and Pili Tobar, deputy White House communications director.
The announcement is the latest move by Biden and Harris to build an administration that mirrors the makeup of America, a pledge Biden touted throughout his campaign. Biden previously named Janet Yellen as his pick for teasury secretary, and he is reportedly expected to name two other women this week to round out his economic team: Neera Tanden and Cecilia Rouse.
“Our country is facing unprecedented challenges — from the coronavirus pandemic to the economic crisis to the climate crisis and a long-overdue reckoning over racial injustice,” Vice President-elect Kamala Harris said in a statement. “To overcome these challenges, we need to communicate clearly, honestly and transparently with the American people, and this experienced, talented and barrier-shattering team will help us do that.
“These communications professionals express our commitment to building a White House that reflects the very best of our nation,” she added.