Jen Psaki: who is the new White House Press Secretary in the Biden administration - and how she will differ to Kayleigh McEnany

One of the many new faces in President Biden’s administration, Jen Psaki certainly has White House experience

As Joe Biden settles into the White House as the 46th President of the United States, there’s going to be a whole new cast of names for us to get acquainted with.

One of those fresh faces in Jen Psaki, Biden’s new Press Secretary.

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She’s no stranger to working in the White House, having held various senior press and communications roles there as part of President Barack Obama’s administration.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki conducts her first news conference of the Biden Administration at the White House on 20 January 2021 (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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But who is she, and what’s her history in political communications?

Here is everything you need to know about her

Who is Jen Psaki?

Jen Psakiwas born in Stamford, Connecticut in 1978.

In 2000 she graduated from the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia with a degree in English.

Her political career would begin a year later, when she worked on the successful re-election campaigns of Iowa Democrats Tom Harkin for the US Senate, and Tom Vilsack for governor.

In 2004, Psaki became deputy press secretary for the presidential campaign of John Kerry, who now sits in President Biden’s cabinet as Special Presidential Envoy for Climate.

Has she worked in the White House before?

Psaki’s role in the Biden administration is far from her first White House rodeo.

In 2008, Psaki was the travelling press secretary for Barack Obama's presidential campaign, and with Obama in power, became the White House’s Deputy Press Secretary.

She was promoted to Deputy Communications Director in December 2009, and left the White House two years later to work for public relations firm Global Strategy Group.

She returned to politics in 2012 as press secretary for Obama's 2012 re-election campaign, and in 2015, became the White House communications director through to the end of the Obama administration.

In 2017, Psaki began life as a political commentator on CNN, but was drawn back to politics once more in 2020, when she joined the Biden-Harris transition team, and was later named as the White House press secretary for the Biden administration.

She has been married since 2010, and has two children.

How will she be different?

Psaki’s predecessor – Kayleigh McEnany – made early false declarations of election victory for Donald Trump while ballots were still being counted, going on to spread false claims of fraud once the result had been declared.

The prestigious Forbes magazine has since warned corporations against hiring McEnany and other Trump "propagandists", stating that the publication "will assume that everything your company or firm talks about is a lie” if they do.

Ahead of Biden’s inauguration, Psaki said she would be a more ‘traditional’ Press Secretary, and will restore the tradition of taking questions from reporters each day.

"I think more than any point in history ... part of the job of the White House press secretary is to rebuild trust with the American people," she said in an interview with NPR's Morning Edition.

Psaki promised to be "as fact-based as I can be", and said though the administration would not be cutting off briefing room access to right-wing media outlets, she wouldn’t allow the briefing room to be “a platform for propaganda."