Biden names all-women senior communications team

Jen Psaki takes high-profile role of White House press secretary

(FILES) In this file photo taken on July 28, 2014 US State Department Press Secretary Jen Psaki conducts her daliy press briefing at the State Department in Washington, DC.       US President-elect Joe Biden on Sunday announced an all-female senior White House communications team, what his office called a first in the country's history. Among those named was Jen Psaki, who will serve in the highly visible role of White House press secretary. Psaki, 41, has held a number of senior positions, including White House communications director for the Barack Obama-Biden administration.
 / AFP / Paul J. RICHARDS
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US President-elect Joe Biden on Sunday announced an all-women senior White House communications team, which his office said made history.

Among those named was Jen Psaki, who will serve as White House press secretary.

Psaki, 41, has held senior positions before, including White House communications director for the administration of Barack Obama.

Mr Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have sought to emphasise diversity in their appointments and nominations so far, before they assume office on January 20.

"I am proud to announce today the first senior White House communications team comprised entirely of women," Mr Biden said.

"These qualified, experienced communicators bring diverse perspectives to their work and a shared commitment to building this country back better."

Six other appointments were announced, including Kate Bedingfield, who was Mr Biden's deputy campaign manager, as White House communications director.

Ms Bedingfield also served as Mr Biden's communications director when he was vice president under Mr Obama.

Ashley Etienne will be communications director for Ms Harris, and Symone Sanders her senior adviser and chief spokeswoman.

Pili Tobar will be deputy White House communications director, and Karine Jean Pierre will be principal deputy press secretary.

Elizabeth Alexander was named communications director for Jill Biden.

The appointments do not require Senate confirmation, unlike most cabinet-level positions.

Mr Biden also revealed appointees and nominees for economic roles, as the US grapples with a downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

If confirmed by the Senate, Janet Yellen will become the first woman to serve as treasury secretary.

Neera Tanden will be the first woman of colour to lead the Office of Management and Budget, and Wally Adeyemo would be the first black deputy secretary of the treasury.

“We face great challenges as a country right now,” Ms Yellen wrote on Twitter after her nomination.

“To recover, we must restore the American dream - a society where each person can rise to their potential and dream even bigger for their children.”

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