Administration

Harris brings on HHS staffer Kirsten Allen as press secretary

Associated Press/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Kirsten Allen, a longtime Democratic staffer and current spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services, is moving to the White House to serve as Vice President Harris’ press secretary, two White House officials confirmed to The Hill.

Allen will join Harris’ staff in the coming days, replacing Symone Sanders, who left the job in December. Allen has spent the last several months as the spokesperson for the COVID-19 response within HHS.

CNN first reported on Allen’s hire as Harris’ press secretary.

Prior to joining the Biden administration, Allen worked on Harris’ presidential campaign in 2019 and on communications for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Like Harris, Allen is a graduate of Howard University.

Her hire fills out a reshaped communications team for Harris.

Jamal Simmons was brought on in January as Harris’ communications director, replacing Ashley Etienne after she departed late last year.

Deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh is set to leave Harris’ office for a job in the Pentagon press shop.

Simmons said in a memo last week that Ernesto Apreza, who has been working at the White House Office of Public Engagement, would move over to the vice president’s office as a new deputy press secretary.  

Herbie Ziskend, Harris’ deputy communications director, is being promoted to senior adviser for communications.  

And Rachel Palermo, an assistant press secretary in Harris’ office, is being promoted to deputy communications director.   

Harris has been an increasingly prominent force for the Biden administration in pushing its domestic and foreign policy agenda. This year alone she has made trips to Honduras for the inauguration of its new president, to Munich for a security conference and to Poland and Romania as a show of support for NATO allies.

Amie Parnes contributed.

Tags Ashley Etienne Jamal Simmons Kirsten Allen Symone Sanders

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