When Joe Biden was still on the campaign trail, one of his many promises was to build an administration that looks like the country it represents. He first made good on that promise by choosing Kamala Harris, a Black woman with Asian-American heritage, as his running mate. As the two joined forces, their team was comprised of more women and women of color than any other political staff in history, so it was safe to assume that many of those same women would be considered for permanent roles once the election was called for Biden.
Biden began making historic appointments almost immediately, beginning with the White House Senior Staff and early Cabinet appointments full of close allies who have years of experience under their belts (Janet Yellen will be the first female Secretary of the Treasury, for example). And over the weekend, Biden made history again by creating the first all-female Communications Team, with a staff that includes several women of color in important public-facing roles.
“I am proud to announce today the first senior White House communications team comprised entirely of women. These qualified, experienced communicators bring diverse perspectives to their work and a shared commitment to building this country back better,” Biden said in a statement.
In all, seven women will be occupying some of the most visible roles in the Biden Administration. Kate Bedingfield, who served as deputy campaign manager and communications director for the campaign, will be White House communications director. Pili Tobar, who served as the communications director for coalitions on the campaign, will serve as deputy White House communications director.
.@JoeBiden & @KamalaHarris built an all-star team: @KBeds steered our ship, @EAlexander332 helped keep course, @SymoneDSanders always rallied the troops, @pilitobar87 built out the crew, & @K_JeanPierre always chipped in. Congrats to these comms queens!https://t.co/E1SHTaRN5x
— Matt Hill (@thematthill) November 30, 2020
While the announcement was received warmly by Democratic politicians, Conservative news outlets are already fretting about the new Comms Team as many of its members have been contributors to CNN or MSNBC over the last four years.
Two senior advisers from the campaign, Symone Sanders and Ashley Etienne, will respectively serve as senior adviser/chief spokesperson for the vice president and communications director for the vice president. Karine Jean-Pierre, who served as Chief of Staff for Vice President-Elect Harris during the campaign, has been named Deputy Press Secretary, serving alongside Press Secretary Jen Psaki. Elizabeth Alexander, yet another Biden campaign senior adviser, will serve as communications director for first lady Jill Biden.