State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki, who worked on President Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012, will become the president’s new communications director, White House officials said Thursday.
Ms. Psaki will replace Jennifer Palmieri, a veteran Democratic strategist who is leaving the White House to join Hillary Rodham Clinton’s likely presidential campaign. She will start her new job April 1. The Associated Press first reported the move.
In a statement, Mr. Obama said Ms. Palmieri is a “good friend” and praised her as a “brilliant and effective communications director and trusted adviser.”
“I’d say Jen is irreplaceable — if Jen Psaki hadn’t agreed to step in,” Mr. Obama said. “I fully trust Jen — and I am thrilled she’s agreed to come back to the White House as communications director.”
When Jay Carney departed last year as White House press secretary, there was speculation that Ms. Psaki would get the post. Instead the president chose Josh Earnest, who had served as Mr. Carney’s chief deputy.
Ms. Psaki has been part of Mr. Obama’s team since 2007, when she was traveling press secretary during his first presidential campaign. She also served in that role for Mr. Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012.
In her new role, Ms. Psaki will be responsible for crafting the White House’s overall communications strategy.