Black women to serve on Biden’s all-women communications team

Ashley Terrell

Symone Sanders, Karine Jean-Pierre and Ashley Etienne will serve on the groundbreaking Biden-Harris team

President-elect Joe Biden has hired an all-female senior communications team.

“Communicating directly and truthfully to the American people is one of the most important duties of a President, and this team will be entrusted with the tremendous responsibility of connecting the American people to the White House,” Biden said in a statement.

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

The Washington Post reports that seven women will hold the upper ranks of the communication staff — the first time top aids speaking for an administration will be all women.

Three of the seven women on the team are black women: Symone Sanders, Karine Jean-Pierre and Ashley Etienne.

Left to right: Ashley Etienne, who will serve as Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’s communications director, Karine Jean Pierre, who will serve as White House principal deputy press secretary and Symone Sanders, who will serve as Harris’s chief spokeswoman. (Photo: Getty Images, U.S. Government)
Left to right: Ashley Etienne, who will serve as Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’s communications director, Karine Jean Pierre, who will serve as White House principal deputy press secretary and Symone Sanders, who will serve as Harris’s chief spokeswoman. (Photo: Getty Images, U.S. Government)

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Sanders, 30, former CNN political commentator and senior advisor for Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign, will now serve as Senior Advisor and Chief Spokesperson for Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Sanders was the youngest presidential press secretary in 2016 when she worked on Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign.

Jean-Pierre, 43, former senior advisor to Biden and chief of staff for Harris, will now serve as the Principal Deputy Press Secretary. She formerly served as Southeast Regional Political Director for President Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.

Etienne, who served as a Senior Advisor on the Biden-Harris campaign, will now step in the role as the Communications Director for the Vice President.

In August, Vanity Fair called Etienne “Biden’s deadliest weapon against Trump” and “the queen of the war rooms” for her involvement in Democrats’ impeachment messaging towards Donald Trump.

Top Biden campaign aid Anita Dunn said that in an often male dominated space, women will now be present — a sign of the barriers Biden intends to continue breaking in his administration.

“The odds are very high that if it’s a story about the Biden administration, any aspect of it, at least one quote in the story will be from a woman,” Dunn said.

Read More: President-elect Biden names Black women to serve key roles in his administration

Vice President-elect Harris, the first woman in U.S. history appointed to the position, commended the women on their “commitment to building a White House that reflects the very best of our nation.”

“Our country is facing unprecedented challenges–from the coronavirus pandemic to the economic crisis, to the climate crisis, and a long-overdue reckoning over racial injustice,” said Harris in a statement.

“To overcome these challenges, 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,” Harris continued.

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