Who is Jen Psaki - Press Secretary: Biography, Career, Profile and Personal Life
Who is Jen Psaki?
Jennifer Rene Psaki was born on December 1, 1978, in Stamford, Connecticut, U.S. She is an American political advisor who was White House Communications Director from 2015 to 2017. Previously, she was a spokesperson for the Department of State and held various press and communications roles in the Obama White House. She has also been a CNN contributor.
In November 2020, President-elect Joe Biden announced he has selected Psaki as White House Press Secretary.
Early life and education
Psaki was born in Stamford, Connecticut to James R. Psaki and Eileen D. Medvey. Her father is a retired real estate developer, while her mother is a psychotherapist.
She graduated from Greenwich High School in 1996. In 2000, she graduated from the College of William & Mary with a degree in English. She is a member of the Chi Omega sorority. At William & Mary, Psaki was a competitive backstroke swimmer for the William & Mary Tribe athletic team for two years.
|Psaki and her husband. Photo: heavy.com|
Mary lives in Virginia with her husband and two children. In 2010, Psaki married Gregory Mecher, a deputy finance director at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. They have two children.
Mecher and Psaki moved in together after the 2008 election was over and Mecher proposed a few months later. Mecher explained to the Washington Post that he spoke with his former boss, Rahm Emanuel, over the phone the day after asking Psaki to marry him.
The couple tied the knot in May 2010. The wedding took place at the Woodlawn Farm in Ridge, Maryland, according to the New York Times announcement. A Protestant minister officiated the ceremony.
According to the wedding announcement, Psaki was working as the White House deputy communications director at the time. Mecher worked on Capitol Hill. He was the chief of staff for Democratic Rep. Steve Driehaus of Ohio.
Psaki began her career in 2001 with the re-election campaigns of Iowa Democrats Tom Harkin for the U.S. Senate and Tom Vilsack for governor. Psaki then became deputy press secretary for John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign. From 2005 to 2006, Psaki served as communications director to U.S. Representative Joseph Crowley and regional press secretary for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign as deputy press secretary. After a short stint as a spokesperson for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, she returned to the world of presidential campaigns, joining the 2008 Obama-Biden campaign as traveling press secretary, a position she held again during their 2012 reelection campaign.
After Obama won the election, Psaki followed Obama to the White House as Deputy Press Secretary and was promoted to Deputy Communications Director on December 19, 2009. On September 22, 2011, Psaki left this position to become senior vice president and managing director at the Washington, D.C., office of public relations firm Global Strategy Group.
In 2012, Psaki returned to political communications as press secretary for President Obama's 2012 re-election campaign. On February 11, 2013, Psaki became the spokesperson for the United States Department of State. Her hiring at the Department of State fueled speculation that she would replace White House Press Secretary Jay Carney when he left the White House, but, on May 30, 2014, it was announced that Josh Earnest would replace Carney. In 2015, she returned to the White House as communications director and stayed through the end of the Obama administration.
On February 7, 2017, Psaki began working as a political commentator on CNN.
In November 2020, Psaki left CNN and joined the Biden-Harris transition team. Psaki is currently the Vice President for Communications and Strategy at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a Senior Advisor at West Exec Advisors, and an On-Air CNN contributor.
On November 29, 2020, Psaki was named White House Press Secretary for the Biden administration.
|Jen Psaki joins Joe Biden’s administration. Photo: politico.com|
What will Psaki do as press secretary?
The White House press secretary is the media's go-to source for information and statements from the Executive Branch, for which the press secretary serves as the primary spokesperson. The post is currently held by Kayleigh McEnany and was first established in 1929, under President Herbert Hoover.
As the public face of the White House, Psaki will gather information from the president, vice president, and Cabinet, and coordinate with the rest of the administration's press team to hold daily press briefings, during which she'll provide Biden's daily schedule and outline the administration's official position on national and international happenings. The White House press secretary is also typically made available to the press throughout the day in other press conferences, event-specific briefings, and off-camera "press gaggles" to answer their questions about specific administration plans and policies.
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