White House announces press office promotions, additions ahead of midterms
The White House press shop underwent a final reshuffling of responsibilities ahead of the midterms, officials confirmed Wednesday, with a few aides earning promotions and others returning to the West Wing.
Jennifer Molina was elevated to deputy communications director after serving as the director of coalitions media for the White House since President Biden took office.
Andrew Bates, who worked on Biden’s 2020 campaign and has been a deputy press secretary since January 2021, will also serve as senior communications adviser for strategic response.
Emilie Simons, a former adviser to Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), has spent much of the past year in the White House press office focused on economic news. She will now serve as a deputy press secretary.
Michael Kikukawa, who previously did a stint as a press assistant at the White House, will return as an assistant press secretary. Robyn Patterson will also join the White House staff as an assistant press secretary after most recently working at the Commerce Department.
The changes were first reported by The Washington Post.
“We are lucky to have these superb professionals at @WhiteHouse working for the American people every day. And they are very nice people, too,” chief of staff Ron Klain tweeted.
The updated responsibilities come after months of changes and shifting roles within the White House press operation following the May departure of former press secretary Jen Psaki. Since then, roughly a half-dozen press staffers have departed the White House, most of them for other jobs in the administration.
Karine Jean-Pierre was elevated to press secretary, and John Kirby came to the White House from the Pentagon to serve as a spokesperson focused on national security and foreign policy.
The White House in late August announced Olivia Dalton would join the West Wing as principal deputy press secretary, coming over from the U.S. Mission to the United Nations.