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White House rounds out its press operation

<i>Alex Edelman/AFP/Getty Images</i><br/>The White House rounded out the senior ranks of its press and communications operation on August 25
AFP via Getty Images
Alex Edelman/AFP/Getty Images
The White House rounded out the senior ranks of its press and communications operation on August 25

By Jeremy Diamond, CNN

The White House rounded out the senior ranks of its press and communications operation on Thursday, naming a new No. 2 spokesperson and promoting other communications aides.

Olivia Dalton, who until recently served as the US Mission to the United Nations’ spokesperson and communications director, will join the White House as principal deputy press secretary, according to an internal White House memo obtained by CNN.

Dalton’s hire fills a critical vacancy that has existed for three months since White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre left that position to take the helm of the briefing room podium.

Kate Berner, a deputy communications director and longtime aide to President Joe Biden, has been promoted to principal deputy communications director. And Herbie Ziskend, a senior communications adviser to Vice President Kamala Harris, will also join the West Wing as a deputy communications director.

“They bring to the table experience, creativity, insight and a willingness to take on any challenge and we are lucky to have them on our teams!” reads the memo, which is signed by senior adviser Anita Dunn, White House communications director Kate Bedingfield and Jean-Pierre.

Dalton will bring important foreign policy experience to the principal deputy position after serving as the USUN spokesperson from the start of the Biden administration until June. She also ran communications for the US’s Operation Allies Welcome, which worked to bring Afghan refugees to the US amid the American withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Dalton also headed up communications for the Biden-Harris transition team working to get Cabinet officials through Senate confirmation.

Berner was previously viewed as a potential contender to succeed Bedingfield as White House communications director until Bedingfield reneged on her resignation in July and decided to stay in the post.

The slate of moves flesh out the White House’s press and communications operation heading into the pivotal midterms campaign season, with Biden set to spend more time on the road selling the recent legislative successes of his administration and Congress.

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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