President-elect Joe Biden continues to make a dramatic difference to the outgoing administration by announcing his cabinet and staff members.
Last weekend, the Biden-Harris campaign announced that it would have a senior women’s communications team at its White House, led by presidential campaign communications director Kate Bedingfield, The Guardian reported.
Bedingfield will be Biden’s White House communications director, and Jen Psaki, a longtime Democratic spokeswoman, will be her press secretary.
Similarly, Neera Tanden, the president and chief executive officer of the Center for American Progress, will oversee the implementation of Biden’s policies, a person familiar with the transition process told The Guardian.
The three women are also former members of the Obama administration.
Bedingfield served as Biden’s communications director when she was vice president; Psaki was White House communications director and spokeswoman at the State Department, and Tanden served as senior advisor to then-Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius.
“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.
“These qualified, experienced communicators bring diverse perspectives to their work and a shared commitment to building this country back better,” he added.
According to the Washington Post, Karine Jean-Pierre, a campaign adviser and former senior official with the liberal group MoveOn, will be the chief deputy press secretary. Pili Tobar, who worked for America’s Voice and a staff member of Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, will become the White House deputy director of communications.
According to the Post, Vice President-elect Harris’ communications director will be Ashley Etienne, a senior advisor to the Biden campaign who served as communications director for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Similarly, Symone Sanders, a former senior advisor to the Biden campaign, will become Harris’ chief spokesperson.
“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,” 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.”
Finally, the President-Elect’s team is trying to send a message of diversity and represent the communities that elected him to office.
Tanden, for example, will be the first woman of color to oversee the Office of Management and Budget. Biden will also appoint Princeton University labor economist Cecilia Rouse as chair of the Council of Economic Advisors, the Post said. Rouse, who is African American, would be the first woman of color to chair the council.