After a rocky two-year tenure as State Department spokeswoman, Jen Psaki is getting a promotion.
The top P.R. flack for Secretary of State John Kerry is headed back to the White House, where she will replace communications director Jennifer Palmieri as she leaves to join Hillary Clinton’s burgeoning presidential campaign.
Psaki got her start in 2007 as press secretary for Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign, afterwards joining the White House as deputy communications director, a job she held until 2011. She was press secretary for the president’s 2012 re-election campaign before being tapped to join John Kerry’s State Department.
“Jen worked on both my campaigns, she’s served in the White House, and she’s traveled the world as an adviser to Secretary Kerry,” President Obama said in a statement. “I fully trust Jen – and I am thrilled she’s agreed to come back to the White House as communications director.”
Psaki confirmed the news in a tweet on Thursday:
— Morgan Ortagus (@statedeptspox) February 19, 2015
As the chief explainer of the Obama administration’s foreign policy maneuverings, Psaki often struggled to make sense of a world increasingly in chaos. She was roundly ridiculed for her “hashtag diplomacy,” where she tweeted out photos of herself holding a hashtag that urged global condemnation of Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine.
Fox News host Bill O’Reilly said she was ”out of her depth” while trying to explain the administration’s vacillation over the Islamic State last fall — prompting a vigorous defense and cries of “sexism” by Psaki’s deputy, Marie Harf.