President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have appointed all women to their White House senior communications team, and several of them are Black women and women of color. The duo also recently announced members of the Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) and nominations for their economic team.
“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 on Sunday, CNN reports.
The newly-announced White House senior communications team includes former Obama White House communications director Jen Psaki, who will serve as press secretary. Kate Bedingfield will be White House communications director. Pili Tobar has been tapped to serve as deputy White House communications director. Karine Jean-Pierre will be principal deputy press secretary. Symone Sanders is the senior adviser and chief spokesperson for Harris. Ashley Etienne will serve as communications director for the vice president, and Elizabeth Alexander will be the communications director for first lady Jill Biden.
Harris described these women “experienced, talented, and barrier-shattering.”
Biden has also confirmed that he has selected key members of his economic team, including Janet Yellen, Secretary of the Treasury; Neera Tanden, Director of the Office of Management and Budget; Wally Adeyemo, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury; Cecilia Rouse, Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers; and Jared Bernstein and Heather Boushey, members of the Council of Economic Advisers.
“As we get to work to control the virus, this is the team that will deliver immediate economic relief for the American people during this economic crisis and help us build our economy back better than ever,” President-elect Biden said in a statement. “This team is comprised of respected and tested groundbreaking public servants who will help the communities hardest hit by COVID-19 and address the structural inequities in our economy. They will work tirelessly to ensure every American enjoys a fair return for their work and an equal chance to get ahead, and that our businesses can thrive and outcompete the rest of the world. This team looks like America and brings seriousness of purpose, the highest degree of competency, and unwavering belief in the promise of America. They will be ready on day one to get to work for all Americans.”
Meanwhile, three people of color, including two African Americans, have been selected for senior leadership roles for the Biden/Harris Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC).
Tony Allen, Ph.D., president of Delaware State University (DSU), has been appointed Chief Executive Officer while Maju Varghese will serve as Executive Director following her role as Chief Operating Officer and Senior Advisor on the Biden-Harris campaign. Erin Wilson, who served as the Biden-Harris campaign’s National Political Director, is now Deputy Executive Director of PIC.
These latest announcements highlight Biden’s election victory speech, where he vowed to establish a diverse administration.
“I said at the outset, I wanted to represent — this campaign to represent and look like America,” he said. “We’ve done that. Now that’s what I want the administration to look like and act like.”
After his election victory, Biden noted: “With the campaign over, it’s time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation,” he said, per The Hill. “It’s time for America to unite. And to heal.”