Who is Jen Psaki? 42-Year-Old Champion Swimmer Impresses as Biden's Press Secretary

Psaki was a surprise entry to the all-female communications team as she did not work on Biden's campaign.

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Jen Psaki, President Joe Biden's press secretary, held her first news briefing of his administration at the White House following his inauguration on Wednesday. And she impressed everyone with her first speech wherein she vowed to bring "truth and transparency" back to White House.

Psaki's appearance at the White House briefing room within hours of Biden's inauguration also draws a stark contrast with the previous administration, which had engaged in verbal combat with reporters and had all-but abandoned briefings. That said, unlike her predecessor Kayleigh McEnany, Psaki is a veteran of Democratic campaigns and administrations and comes with a lot of experience.

Leading the Female Brigade

Jen Psaki
Jen Psaki YouTube Grab

Psaki will be the face of the all-female senior White House communications team as Biden starts his journey as the 46th President of the United States. She appears to be calm and composed and her speech was a reflection of that. "Rebuilding trust with the American people will be central to our focus in the press office and in the White House," Psaki said as she opened the briefing.

Psaki's speech was in sharp contrast to Sean Spicer, Trump's first press secretary, who lashed out at the news media and lied about Trump's inaugural crowd size during his first news briefing. Psaki, 42, instead, engaged in a largely civil exchange of information with reporters.

Understandably, this comes from her vast experience in handling new media over the years. Born and raised in Connecticut, Psaki had worked for Democrats in Washington since 2004, when she served in John Kerry's presidential campaign. Psaki graduated from William and Mary College in 2000 with a double major in English and sociology. She was also a key member of the school's swimming team and in the Chi Omega sorority.

Psaki also worked on Barack Obama's campaign in 2004 and 2008. During his second term, she served as the top State Department spokesperson and then was runner-up to be White House press secretary when Jay Carney left the White House and was succeeded by Josh Earnest in 2014. She remained Obama's communications director throughout his second term.

Surprise Choice

Jen Psaki
Jen Psaki holds first White House briefing of Biden's presidency YouTube Grab

Psaki's family members too are hardcore Democrats. Her husband Gregory Mecher, who she married in 2010, is a fellow veteran of Democratic Washington. Mecher has worked for both the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and former Rep. Steve Driehaus, a Democrat from Ohio.

That said, Psaki was a surprise entry to the all-female communications team as she did not work on Biden's campaign this time. Instead, she was working as a CNN commentator and for private public relations clients. Her selection was a shade surprising initially but Biden's familiarity with her during the Obama administration gave her an edge over others.

Known to be a calm headed and balanced person, Psaki gave a reflection of her image during her first appearance in front of the media as she vowed to bring "truth and transparency" back to the briefing room. "There will be moments when we disagree, and there will certainly be days where we disagree for extensive parts of the briefing even, perhaps. But we have a common goal, which is sharing accurate information with the American people," she told the news media.