Jen Psaki named White House communications director

By Aileen Graef Follow @AileenGraef Contact the Author   |  Feb. 20, 2015 at 10:34 AM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- President Obama has named State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki as White House communications director.

Psaki will succeed Jennifer Palmieri, who is joining former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's campaign for the White House in 2016.

In a statement from the White House, Obama welcomed Psaki as a trusted longtime adviser.

Over the past three years, Jen Palmieri has served as a brilliant and effective Communications Director and trusted advisor. More importantly, she has become a good friend. I will miss her deeply -- and I wish her success in the future. I'd say Jen is irreplaceable -- if Jen Psaki hadn't agreed to step in. Jen worked on both my campaigns, she's served in the White House, and she's traveled the world as an advisor to Secretary Kerry. I fully trust Jen -- and I am thrilled she's agreed to come back to the White House as Communications Director.

Psaki was the traveling spokeswoman for Obama's 2008 campaign and press secretary for his 2012 campaign. She served as deputy communications director in the White House before moving to the State Department. Before working on Obama's campaign, Psaki was communications director for Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., and regional press secretary for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Psaki informed the White House she is expecting a baby in July upon accepting the offer. Amy Brundage, the current deputy communications director, will fill in during her maternity leave.

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