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Jen Psaki

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Jen Psaki
Jen Psaki 2022.jpg
34th White House Press Secretary
In office
January 20, 2021 – May 13, 2022
PresidentJoe Biden
DeputyKarine Jean-Pierre
Preceded byKayleigh McEnany
Succeeded byKarine Jean-Pierre
White House Communications Director
In office
April 1, 2015 – January 20, 2017
PresidentBarack Obama
Preceded byJennifer Palmieri
Succeeded bySean Spicer
Spokesperson for the United States Department of State
In office
April 5, 2013 – March 31, 2015
PresidentBarack Obama
DeputyMarie Harf
Preceded byVictoria Nuland
Succeeded byJohn Kirby
White House Deputy Communications Director
In office
December 19, 2009 – September 22, 2011
PresidentBarack Obama
Preceded byDaniel Pfeiffer
Succeeded byJennifer Palmieri
White House Deputy Press Secretary
In office
January 20, 2009 – December 19, 2009
PresidentBarack Obama
LeaderRobert Gibbs
Preceded byTony Fratto
Succeeded byBill Burton
Personal details
Jennifer Rene Psaki

(1978-12-01) December 1, 1978 (age 43)
Stamford, Connecticut, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Gregory Mecher
(m. 2010)
EducationCollege of William and Mary (BA)

Jennifer Rene Psaki (/ˈsɑːki/; born December 1, 1978)[1][2][3] is an American political advisor who served as the 34th White House press secretary[4] from 2021 to 2022. A member of the Democratic Party, she previously served in the Obama administration as the White House deputy press secretary (2009); the White House deputy communications director (2009–2011); the spokesperson for the United States Department of State (2013–2015); and the White House communications director (2015–2017).[5] Psaki was a political contributor for CNN from 2017 to 2020.[6]

Early life and education

Psaki, the eldest of three daughters,[7] was born in Stamford, Connecticut in 1978 to psychotherapist[8] Eileen (née Dolan) Medvey[9] and Dimitrios "James" R. Psaki (Greek: Δημήτριος Ρ. Ψακής), a retired real estate developer whose grandfather had emigrated from Greece in 1904 and whose grandmother was of Irish descent. Her parents married in 1976.[10] Psaki also has Polish ancestry.[11]

Psaki graduated from Greenwich High School in 1996. In 2000, she graduated from the College of William & Mary with a degree in English and sociology.[12] She is a member of the Chi Omega sorority.[13] At William & Mary, Psaki was a competitive backstroke swimmer for the William & Mary Tribe athletic team for two years.[13][14]


Early career

Psaki began her career in 2001 with the re-election campaigns of Iowa Democrats Tom Harkin for the U.S. Senate and Tom Vilsack for governor. Psaki then became deputy press secretary for John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign. From 2005 to 2006, Psaki served as communications director to U.S. representative Joseph Crowley and regional press secretary for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.[15]

Obama administration

Throughout the 2008 presidential campaign of U.S. senator Barack Obama, Psaki served as traveling press secretary.[15] After Obama won the election, Psaki followed Obama to the White House as deputy press secretary and was promoted to deputy communications director on December 19, 2009.[16][17] On September 22, 2011, Psaki left this position to become senior vice president and managing director at the Washington, D.C., office of public relations firm Global Strategy Group.[18][19]

In 2012, Psaki returned to political communications as press secretary for President Obama's 2012 reelection campaign.[20] On February 11, 2013, Psaki became spokesperson for the United States Department of State.[20] Her hiring at the Department of State fueled speculation that she would replace White House Press Secretary Jay Carney when he left the White House,[21] but, on May 30, 2014, it was announced that Josh Earnest would replace Carney. In 2015, she returned to the White House as communications director and stayed through the end of the Obama administration.

On February 7, 2017, Psaki began working as a political commentator on CNN.[2]

White House press secretary

In November 2020, Psaki left CNN and joined the Biden-Harris transition team.[22] Later that month, Psaki was named as the White House press secretary for the Biden administration.[23][24][25] She held her first press briefing on the evening of January 20, after the inauguration.[26]

On May 6, 2021, in an interview with former Senior Advisor to the President David Axelrod, Psaki suggested she would depart from the position of press secretary "in about a year from now".[27][28]

In October 2021, Psaki was accused by a watchdog group of violating the Hatch Act for her comments on the 2021 Virginia gubernatorial election.[29]

On November 2, 2021, Psaki announced that she had tested positive for COVID-19.[30] After quarantining, she returned to work on November 12, 2021, after fully recovering, and crediting her vaccination status for her recovery without complications.[31]

On March 22, 2022, Psaki tested positive for COVID-19 for the second time in six months and did not accompany President Biden on his trip to Europe.[32]

On April 1, 2022, Axios reported that Psaki would likely leave the White House "around May" for a job with MSNBC.[33] On May 5, 2022, the White House announced she would be leaving the role on May 13, 2022 and named her principal deputy, Karine Jean-Pierre, as her replacement.[34]

Personal life

On May 8, 2010,[35] Psaki married Greg Mecher, then chief of staff to Congressman Steve Driehaus. Later, Mecher served as chief of staff to Congressman Joe Kennedy.[36] The couple met at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 2006. They have two children.[37]


  1. ^ Allen, Mike (December 1, 2013). "Welcome to December! -- The sentence in today's NYT that will make a few people with .gov addresses cringe -- What Obama Bought at Politics and Prose". Politico. Archived from the original on December 22, 2020. Retrieved August 13, 2014.
  2. ^ a b Concha, Joe (February 8, 2017). "Jen Psaki joins CNN". The Hill. Archived from the original on December 22, 2020. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
  3. ^ Papp, Justin; Munson, Emilie (December 1, 2020). "Who is Jen Psaki? CT native expected to reset media relations as Biden's press secretary". Retrieved January 21, 2021.
  4. ^ "President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris Announce Members of White House Senior Communications Staff". President-Elect Joe Biden. November 29, 2020. Archived from the original on November 30, 2020. Retrieved November 30, 2020.
  5. ^ "Jen Psaki returns to White House". Politico. Archived from the original on May 8, 2015. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  6. ^ "Jen Psaki". Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Archived from the original on December 22, 2020. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  7. ^ Newspapers, Charles J. Lewis, Hearst (September 22, 2011). "Greenwich High alum resigns White House job". StamfordAdvocate.
  8. ^ "Jennifer Psaki, Gregory Mecher". The New York Times. May 7, 2010. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on December 22, 2020. Retrieved December 5, 2020.
  9. ^ "Miss Eileen Dolan And James Psaki To Marry Today". The Bridgeport Post. July 18, 1976. p. 30 – via the wedding of Miss Eileen D. Dolan, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. S.J. Dailey of New York city, to James R. Psaki, son of Dr. and Mrs. Raoul C. Psaki
  10. ^ ""Υπερήφανος για την Τζένιφερ", δηλώνει για την κόρη του ο Δημήτριος Ψάκη" [«Proud for Jennifer,» states Dimitrios Psaki for his daughter]. Ethnikos Kirikas (in Greek). December 4, 2020. Retrieved April 10, 2021.
  11. ^ "Biden Picks Greek-American Jen Psaki to Lead Confirmation Team". The National Herald. November 19, 2020. Psaki is of Irish, Greek and Polish descent with her Greek roots in Messinia through her father James R. Psaki
  12. ^ "Psaki '00 named White House communications director". College of William & Mary. Archived from the original on December 22, 2020. Retrieved November 30, 2020.
  13. ^ a b Sawicki, Stephen (February 2011). "Meeting the Press". Greenwich Magazine. Archived from the original on August 30, 2013. Retrieved August 6, 2013.
  14. ^ "Women's swimming and diving roster". College of William & Mary. Archived from the original on June 16, 1997.
  15. ^ a b "Jennifer Psaki". OpenSecrets. Archived from the original on December 22, 2020.
  16. ^ "Jen Psaki". The Washington Post. July 23, 2012. Archived from the original on December 22, 2020. Retrieved July 6, 2013.
  17. ^ Allen, Mike (December 19, 2009). "Jen Psaki named Deputy Communications Director -- Summit accepts Obama deal -- Health reform could effectively pass at 1 a.m. Monday -- Shannon Flaherty b'day". Politico. Archived from the original on December 22, 2020. Retrieved July 6, 2013.
  18. ^ Calmes, Jackie (September 20, 2011). "White House Deputy Communications Director Steps Down". The New York Times. Archived from the original on December 22, 2020. Retrieved July 6, 2013.
  19. ^ Lewis, Charles J. (September 22, 2011). "Greenwich High alum resigns White House job". Greenwich Time. Retrieved July 6, 2013.
  20. ^ a b "Jen Psaki, Department Spokesperson". US Department of State. Archived from the original on July 12, 2013. Retrieved July 5, 2013.
  21. ^ Rogin, Josh (February 15, 2013). "What Jen Psaki faces as the new State Department spokeswoman". Foreign Policy. FP Group, a division of the Washington Post Company. Archived from the original on June 14, 2013.
  22. ^ Sullivan, Kate (November 30, 2020). "Biden announces all-female senior White House communications team". CNN. Archived from the original on December 22, 2020. Retrieved October 30, 2020.
  23. ^ "Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary". President-Elect Joe Biden. Retrieved January 5, 2021.
  24. ^ Linskey, Annie; Stein, Jeff (November 29, 2020). "Biden hires all-female senior communications team, names Neera Tanden director of OMB". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on November 30, 2020. Retrieved November 29, 2020.
  25. ^ "White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki Holds First Briefing". C-SPAN. January 20, 2021. Retrieved January 21, 2021.
  26. ^ "New White House press secretary holds 1st briefing this evening". CBC. January 20, 2021. Retrieved January 21, 2021.
  27. ^ Moore, Thomas (May 7, 2021). "Psaki signals she'll step down next year". The Hill. Retrieved May 7, 2021.
  28. ^ Stelter, Brian (May 6, 2021). "Jen Psaki says she talked with the Biden transition team about a roughly one-year term". CNN. Retrieved May 7, 2021.
  29. ^ Multiple references:
  30. ^ "Jen Psaki: White House press secretary says she has COVID". Al Jazeera. November 2, 2021. Retrieved November 13, 2021.
  31. ^ Rafford, Claire (November 13, 2021). "Press Secretary Jen Psaki returns to work after Covid-19". Politico. Retrieved November 13, 2021.
  32. ^ Superville, Darlene (March 22, 2022). "Biden press secretary has COVID-19, won't travel to Europe". Associated Press. Retrieved March 22, 2022.
  33. ^ Fischer, Sara (April 1, 2022). "Jen Psaki planning to leave White House this spring for MSNBC gig". Axios. Retrieved April 1, 2022.
  34. ^ "President Biden Announces Karine Jean-Pierre as White House Press Secretary". The White House. May 5, 2022. Retrieved May 5, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  35. ^ McCarthy, Ellen (May 16, 2010). "OnLove Wedding: Jen Psaki and Gregory Mecher get married in Maryland". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 21, 2021.
  36. ^ Laviola, Erin (January 22, 2021). "Gregory Mecher, Jen Psaki's Husband: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Heavy. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
  37. ^ Emmrich, Stuart (January 29, 2021). "8 Things to Know About Jen Psaki, Biden's Press Secretary". Vogue. Retrieved February 3, 2021.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by Spokesperson for the United States Department of State
Succeeded by
Preceded by White House Director of Communications
Succeeded by
Preceded by White House Press Secretary
Succeeded by