For the first time in history, these communications roles will be filled entirely by women.
WASHINGTON – President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris announced new members of the White House staff who will serve in senior communications roles. These diverse, experienced, and talented women demonstrate President-elect Biden’s continued commitment to building an administration that looks like America and is ready to deliver results for working families on day one. For the first time in history, these communications roles will be filled entirely by women.
“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.” said President-elect Joe Biden.
“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. These communications professionals express our commitment to building a White House that reflects the very best of our nation” said Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
Biographies of the appointees are listed below in alphabetical order:
Elizabeth E. Alexander served as a Senior Advisor on the Biden-Harris Campaign. Alexander spent the first years of the Obama-Biden administration as the Press Secretary to Vice President Biden, a role which followed her time as then-Senator Biden’s Communications Director on Capitol Hill.
Previously, Alexander worked as Press Secretary for the United Nations Foundation, Press Secretary to Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe, Communications Director for Congressman Adam Schiff, and Deputy Press Secretary for Senator Chuck Schumer.
Kate Bedingfield served as Deputy Campaign Manager and Communications Director for the Biden-Harris Campaign. She served as Communications Director for Vice President Biden and as Associate Communications Director, Deputy Director of Media Affairs, and the Director of Response in the Obama-Biden White House.
Prior to the Obama-Biden administration, Bedingfield served as Communications Director to U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen on her successful 2008 Senate campaign, Deputy National Press Secretary on the John Edwards for President campaign and Regional Press Secretary for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 2006 when Democrats won back the House.
Ashley Etienne served as a Senior Advisor on the Biden-Harris Campaign. Before that, Etienne served as Communications Director and Senior Advisor to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, the first woman and person of color to hold the position.
Prior to the Obama-Biden administration, she served as Deputy Communications Director and Spokesperson for then-House Democratic Leader Pelosi, Communications Director for House Democrats on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Spokesperson for the Corporation for National and Community Service, and as a Spokesperson in Virginia for the Obama-Biden Campaign in 2008.
Karine Jean-Pierre was Senior Advisor to President-Elect Joe Biden and Chief of Staff to Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris on the Biden-Harris Campaign. Prior to her role on the campaign, she served as Chief Public Affairs Officer for MoveOn.org and an NBC and MSNBC Political Analyst. Jean-Pierre served as Regional Political Director for the White House Office of Political Affairs during the Obama-Biden administration and as Deputy Battleground States Director for President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.
She served as Southeast Regional Political Director for President Obama’s 2008 campaign, Deputy Campaign Manager for Martin O’Malley for President, Campaign Manager for the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Initiative, and Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of Legislative and Budget Affairs for two members in the New York City Council.
Jen Psaki currently oversees the confirmations team for the Biden-Harris Transition. During the Obama-Biden administration, Psaki held several senior roles, including White House Communications Director, State Department Spokesperson under then-Secretary of State John Kerry, Deputy White House Communications Director and Deputy White House Press Secretary during the financial crisis.
She is a veteran of three presidential campaigns having served as traveling press secretary during the Obama-Biden campaign in 2008, as traveling press secretary and senior advisor in 2012 and as deputy press secretary for John Kerry’s presidential campaign in 2004.
Symone Sanders served as a Senior Advisor on the Biden-Harris campaign. In 2016, Sanders became the youngest presidential press secretary while working on U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders’s then-presidential campaign.
Before joining the Biden-Harris campaign, Sanders was a CNN political commentator and served as principal of the 360 Group LLC, where she provided strategic communications guidance to organizations, businesses, individuals, campaigns and candidates.
Pili Tobar served as the Communications Director for Coalitions on the Biden-Harris Campaign. Before joining the campaign, Tobar served as the Deputy Director for America’s Voice, where she advocated on behalf of immigrants.
She has also served as the Hispanic Media Director for Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, National Director of Hispanic Media and Western Regional Press Secretary for the Democratic National Committee, Communications Director for Congressman Ruben Gallego, and Communications Director for the Latino Victory Project. Originally from Florida and raised in Guatemala, Tobar is a graduate of the University of Miami. She lives in Washington D.C. with her wife and daughter.