Two of the most visible Black women who worked on Joe Biden‘s presidential campaign have been rewarded with key communications roles for both the president-elect and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. The new positions for Symone Sanders and Karine Jean-Pierre, who were both senior advisers on Biden’s campaign, were announced Sunday amid reports of an all-female senior communications team for the White House’s incoming administration.
Jean-Pierre, who was Harris’ campaign chief of staff and advised Biden on strategy, communication and engaging with crucial communities such as Black people, women and progressives, will be the White House’s principal deputy press secretary. Prior to joining Biden’s campaign, Jean-Pierre was the chief public affairs officer for MoveOn, a liberal public policy advocacy group and political action committee.
Sanders, for her part, will be the chief spokeswoman for Harris. Before coming on board as an adviser for Biden’s campaign, Sanders was a political pundit whose national profile grew while serving as national press secretary for Bernie Sanders during his 2016 presidential campaign.
The announcements came as Biden has been criticized for not appointing enough Black people to key roles in his administration. Biden famously pledged to pick a presidential cabinet that will “look like America.”
Some people might have thought Sanders was up for the role of Secretary of Defense after she rushed to protect Biden from protesters at a campaign rally back in March. Biden was giving his speech at a rally in Los Angeles after winning big during Super Tuesday when two people holding “let dairy die” signs rushed the stage. While security handled the first protester, Sanders took care of the second one and dragged the woman offstage.
Jean-Pierre also went viral during the campaign season, but for a completely different reason: Kamala Harris’ footwear. She tweeted footage of the California senator getting off jets at separate campaign stops during instances where Harris was wearing Chuck Taylor sneakers at one event and a pair of Timberland boots at another.
Biden was called out by South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn for having just one Black woman as part of his cabinet as of last week. (Biden nominated Linda Thomas-Greenfield to be the ambassador to the United Nations, the second Black woman ever serving in that capacity.) Clyburn is the person largely credited with rallying his state’s Black voters to help Biden win the Democratic primary there and propel him to become the party’s nominee.
While Sunday’s announcement suggests that Biden heard Clyburn’s concerns loud and clear.
Aside from Sanders’ and Jean-Pierre’s roles, a slate of other women were also named to prominent communications positions for the White House.
Jennifer Psaki will be Biden’s White House press secretary, Kate Bedingfield will be the White House communications director and Pili Tobar will be the deputy White House communications director.
There was somewhat of a social media campaign for Sanders to be named White House press secretary in the days leading up to Sunday’s announcement.
It was also reported that Neera Tanden will be the director of the Office of Management and Budget, the first woman of color to lead that federal agency.
This is a developing story that will be updated as additional information becomes available.
Here Are All The Black People In Joe Biden's Cabinet And His Most Senior Advisers
1. Adewale Adeyemo, Deputy Treasury SecretarySource:Twitter 1 of 19
2. Gen. Lloyd Austin, Department of DefenseSource:Getty 2 of 19
3. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, vice chair of the Democratic National CommitteeSource:Getty 3 of 19
4. Kirsten Clarke, Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights DivisionSource:Getty 4 of 19
5. Ashley Etienne, Kamala Harris’ Chief Communications Director
5 of 19
Ashley Etienne is the Communications Director for MVP Kamala Harris. She’s not new to the game. Etienne was the communications director for the House Oversight Committee under the late Elijah Cummings. Biden-Harris administration has chosen the best!👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽 pic.twitter.com/FLVgWZCdUn— silverprincess💛 (@marsha_vivinate) November 30, 2020
6. Tina Flournoy, Vice President's Chief Of Staff6 of 19
7. Rep. Marcia Fudge, Housing and Urban DevelopmentSource:Getty 7 of 19
8. Joelle Gamble, National Economic CouncilSource:Courtesy of Biden-Harris Transition Team 8 of 19
9. Shuwanza Goff, Deputy Director Of The White House Office Of Legislative AffairsSource:Joe Biden Communications Coalitions 9 of 19
10. Jamie Harrison, DNC ChairSource:Getty 10 of 19
11. Karine Jean-Pierre, White House Deputy Press SecretarySource:Getty 11 of 19
12. Brenda Mallory, Council on Environmental Quality ChairpersonSource:Getty 12 of 19
13. Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, Co-Chair of Biden's Coronavirus Task Force
13 of 19
Finally, some science.— NewsOne (@newsone) November 16, 2020
Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, a doctor and college professor promoting health and healthcare equity for structurally marginalized populations, will co-chair Joe Biden's Covid task force.https://t.co/cUHso6sruX
14. Michael Regan, EPA
14 of 19
Biden picks Michael Regan, top North Carolina environmental official, to run EPA https://t.co/JJzYjFdevB— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) December 17, 2020
15. Susan Rice, White House Domestic Policy Council DirectorSource:Getty 15 of 19
16. Cedric RichmondSource:Getty 16 of 19
17. Cecilia Rouse, Council of Economic Advisors chairpersonSource:Getty 17 of 19
18. Symone Sanders, Vice President's spokesperson
18 of 19
All of the reporting I've seen has indicated @SymoneDSanders is the frontrunner for Press Secretary so I'm expecting her to be picked. But let me add to the chorus to say she is the CREDENTIALS pick in addition to being historic. #BlackWomenLead https://t.co/cvFGjq1xLB pic.twitter.com/4Qd5D14pVR— Reecie @BlackWomenViews (@ReecieColbert) November 14, 2020
19. Linda Thomas-Greenfield, UN AmbassadorSource:Getty 19 of 19
Symone Sanders And Karine Jean-Pierre Land Key Roles As Biden’s Communications Team Is Revealed was originally published on newsone.com