You might have seen Jen Psaki, the current U.S. White House press secretary, speaking regularly to the media, often talking about the President and current issues facing the U.S. We’re getting to know her and the role of press secretary below.
Prior to the Biden-Harris administration
Psaki previously worked in a variety of roles in the political communications sphere, including campaigns for Democratic candidates, before becoming the deputy press secretary for John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign. She also worked in communications in the Obama administration, however, missed out twice on the press secretary role, noting she was “devastated” after not securing the role.
Psaki also worked for CNN before joining the Biden administration and eventually becoming press secretary.
What is the role of the press secretary?
The press secretary is the main interface between the White House and the press. The role is important as it creates a sense of accountability between the government and the press, allowing journalists to ask questions directly to the Biden administration. The press secretary usually holds daily press briefings, acting as the spokesperson for the executive branch of the federal government of the U.S.
Psaki as press secretary
In an interview with Vogue, according to Psaki, one of the first things President Biden said to her about her role was “we are healing a country whose nerves have been frayed. It’s just a little bit frantic. We need to be projecting calm, openness to engagement, governing for all people ”. Psaki often notes the importance of tone for her role.
The New York Times has noted Psaki is very popular online, particularly with young progressives, who constantly engage with content about her. The hashtag #jenpsaki has 139 million views on TikTok, and clips of her answers to the press at times go viral on various platforms. Psaki is known for her short and crisp style of answering reporters’ questions and is regarded as “professional” and straightforward with generally high praise among Washington correspondents.