US President-Elect Joe Biden has announced his incoming White House communications team will be filled entirely by women.
The decision ensures that for the first time in America’s history, women will have a profound and wide-reaching impact on the way the White House communicates with the media, and the world.
Former Obama State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki will become the White House press secretary, and Kate Bedingfield, who has previously worked as communications director for Biden when he was Vice-President, will be the White House communications director.
This is a team of some of the most talented, battle-tested communicators out there @KBeds, @K_JeanPierre, @SymoneDSanders, @AshleyEtienne09 @EAlexander, @pilitobar87—who are also all women, most diverse team in history and also 6 Moms of young kids— Jen Psaki (@jrpsaki) November 29, 2020
I’m unspeakably proud to have the opportunity to serve as White House Communications Director for @joebiden. 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 1/— Kate Bedingfield (@KBeds) November 29, 2020
Symone Sanders, a senior advisor to the Biden-Harris campaign, will be Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris’ chief spokesperson and a senior advisor.
Ready to serve accurately describes how I feel. Thank you Madam Vice President-elect @KamalaHarris for entrusting me with this charge. It has been the honor of my life to work for @JoeBiden & I am elated to have the opportunity to continue to that work in the PEOPLE’S HOUSE.— Symone D. Sanders (@SymoneDSanders) November 29, 2020
Karine Jean Pierre will take on the role of deputy White House press secretary. Elizabeth Alexander, who was Biden’s press secretary during the Obama administration, will be the first lady Jill Biden’s communications director.
I am profoundly honored to be the Principal Deputy Press Secretary for @JoeBiden. I am especially thrilled to work alongside @jrpsaki whose leadership and stellar instincts will ensure we are positioned to effectively communicate the Biden-Harris agenda to all Americans.— Karine Jean-Pierre (@K_JeanPierre) November 29, 2020
Ashley Etienne will be communications director for the Vice-President, while Pili Tobar will become deputy White House communications director.
“I am proud to announce today the first senior White House communications team comprised entirely of women,” Biden said.
“These qualified, experienced communicators bring diverse perspectives to their work and a shared commitment to building this country back better.”
Four of the seven communications positions announced by the Biden-Harris team will be filled by women of colour, speaking to Biden’s stated ambition to build an administration that “looks like America”.
The appointments mean that every day, women and importantly, women of colour, will represent the Biden administration. Their commentary, direction and words will be important and carry influence, and they will become some of the most prominent voices of the US government.
While women and women of colour are often underrepresented in official government positions, these women will be regularly speaking on behalf of the President and Vice President.
Despite Trump’s White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany falsely stating otherwise, President-Elect Biden’s incoming press team will be a far cry from what we’ve seen from the Trump administration. While women have served in senior official positions during Trump’s time in office, they have continually been outnumbered by men.
Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris, the first woman and person of colour to be elected as vice-president, said the communications team was “barrier-shattering”.
“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,” she said.
“These communications professionals express our commitment to building a White House that reflects the very best of our nation.”
With a Biden-Harris administration, it doesn’t look like we’ll be seeing many more photos of all white men seated around a table, signing documents and making decisions on issues that affect the lives of all Americans.