Over the years that she has spent in the White House, Jen Psaki has been an integral member of both former President Obama's and now President Biden's administrations. As the current press secretary, Jen knows exactly what it feels like to have the pressure put on and be the face that confronts reporters daily with the president's messages.
However, there have been some changes as of late that might spell out a massive shift in the president's press department. So, what happened to Jen, and how does it affect that aspect of Biden's administration going forward? Here's what we know.
What happened to Jen Psaki? She announced that she will leave her position in 2022.
If you weren't familiar with Jen Psaki a few months ago, odds are you are now, The press secretary has been one of the main faces of the Biden administration since the president took office in January 2021. However, her role in the administration is seemingly going to change come 2022 when she plans to depart her current role.
During a recent appearance on the podcast The Axe Files, Jen elaborated on her decision a bit more to host David Axelrod.
"I think it's going to be time for somebody else to have this job in a year from now or about a year from now," Jen said when David posed the question of how long she'd stay in the role. She then proceeded to give her reasoning for taking it on in the first place.
"I mean, when I talked to the inner circle of the Biden orbit about this, we talked about coming in and doing this job for a year, which was quite appealing to me for many reasons," she explained. "One: This is, what a moment in history — right — to be a part of. It's always true in the White House. But I think following Trump, especially if you can take the temperature down a little bit, that's a cool thing to be a part of."
As for the reasoning behind her departure, Jen mentioned that it is largely out of an increased wish to spend time with her young children.
"I have little kids and I don't want to miss time with them. And, you know, my daughter is going into kindergarten. I have a lot of years with her, but she's kind of a magical unicorn. And I don't want to miss moments. I don't want to miss things," she candidly said of why the role will be up for grabs next year.
So wait, who will replace Jen when she departs her role?
Although it's essentially confirmed that Jen will be stepping down from her role sometime in 2022, her successor remains unnamed. There are some hints, of course, and people who seem fit to take the job, but as of right now no one has identified a successor. In the meantime, Jen is working diligently to prepare her entire staff for what will be a massive transition once she leaves, upping responsibilities across the board.
Deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre seems most likely to take over Jen's role.
Although Jen's successor isn't officially confirmed, many believe that the role will fall to her second-in-command, deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. On May 26, 2021, Karine made history as the first Black woman to step behind the podium in the White House press room in three decades. When asked by reporters to reflect on the gravity of her briefing the press, she had plenty to say.
"I appreciate the historic nature. I really do," she explained. "But I believe that being behind this podium, being in this room, being in this building — it's not about one person. It's about what we do on behalf of the American people."
Former President George H.W. Bush's administration was the first to hire a Black woman to be press secretary with Judy Smith in 1991, but none have occupied the role in the thirty years since.
Karine believes the decision to put her behind the podium bolster's the Biden administration's diversity standpoints. "Clearly, the president believes representation matters," she went on to say. "It's another reason why I think we are so proud that this is the most diverse administration in history."
Only time will tell if Karine ends up securing the role as press secretary when Jen departs.