Joe Biden’s campaign promise was to assemble a diverse cabinet that “looked like America“. On Sunday, the president-elect announced an all-female communications staff including three Black women who will be the voice of his administration.
This will be the first time in history that a president’s communications team will be made up of only women, according to the Washington Post. These well-experienced women either worked in Obama’s administration or were instrumental during Biden’s campaign.
In a statement, Biden said, “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.”
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, who is already the beacon of diversity in the Biden-led administration, could not be prouder of the newly announced team.
She said the American people are in dire need of a clear and transparent voice in these uncertain times and this “experienced, talented, and barrier-shattering” team is more than equipped to deliver.
“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, Harris said, according to CNN.
“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.”
Here are the three Black women on the communications team.
Sanders worked as a campaign aid for US Senator Bernie Sanders in 2016 prior to serving as a Senior Advisor on the Biden-Harris campaign. The 30-year-old worked as a presidential press secretary, making her the youngest to occupy that position for the then-presidential campaign of Sanders.
She will now serve as Senior Advisor and Chief Spokesperson for Vice President-elect Harris. The former CNN political commentator provided tactical communications advice to organizations, businesses, individuals, campaigns, and candidates when she served as the principal of the 360 Group LLC.
Sanders is a product of Creighton University and an advocate for juvenile justice reform. She has worked assiduously to bring millennial perspectives to policy conversations and served as the former chair of the Coalition of Juvenile Justice Emerging Leaders Committee.
The Nebraska native is also a former member of the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice where she helped elevate the profile of young voices in the fight for juvenile justice reform.
Etienne will be the Communications Director for the Vice President-elect after having worked as Senior Advisor on the Biden-Harris campaign. She was the first woman of color to serve as the Communications Director and Senior Advisor to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
The 42-year-old led communications on President Obama’s signature My Brother’s Keeper initiative and was the Special Assistant to the President and Director of Communications for the Cabinet in the Obama-Biden administration.
Vanity Fair called Etienne “Biden’s deadliest weapon against Trump” and “the queen of the war rooms” for her participation in Democrats’ impeachment messaging to Donald Trump.
The Texas native is a graduate of Sam Houston State University and Johns Hopkins University. Through her own consulting firm, Etienne & Associates and her time at Dewey Square Group, she provided tactical counsel to clients.
That same expertise was employed while she served in the capacity of Communications Director for House Democrats on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Spokesperson for the Corporation for National and Community Service. In 2008, Etienne served as a Spokesperson in Virginia for the Obama-Biden Campaign.
The 43-year-old, former senior advisor to Biden and chief of staff for Harris, is the first Black person, woman, and first out lesbian to hold that position for a vice-presidential nominee. She will now occupy the position of the Principal Deputy Press Secretary.
Jean-Pierre served as Chief Public Affairs Officer for MoveOn.org and an NBC and MSNBC Political Analyst prior to her role on the Biden-Harris campaign. She also served as Southeast Regional Political Director for President Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.
She was born in Martinique and raised in New York and is a Columbia University graduate.
According to Buildbackbetter.gov, Jean-Pierre served as Regional Political Director for the White House Office of Political Affairs during the Obama-Biden administration and as Deputy Battleground States Director for President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.