The revolving door is spinning in press shops across Washington this week. Lest you think communications directors, press secretaries, public affairs officers and spokespeople (pick your title) don’t matter, remember that they often keep reporters informed so we can keep you informed.
Most notably, Vice President Biden’s press secretary, Elizabeth Alexander, is leaving at the end of the month to practice law. She will be replaced by Kendra Barkof f, the Interior Department’s deputy communications director who previously worked on the 2008 Obama presidential campaign and with Sens. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.).Barkoff will report to Biden’s communication director Shailagh Murray, who previously served as a Washington Post congressional reporter.
The White House is also beefing up its online press team, tapping Jesse Lee to serve as director of progressive media and online response, a new role that will have him handling rapid response primarily in the liberal blogosphere and Twittersphere (if you will). Lee is perhaps best known to webheads as one of the most frequent contributors to the White House blog.
Beyond the White House there are other notable press shop changes:
Joanne Veto, head of public relations and a senior communications manager with the U.S. Postal Service, is stepping down this week to join Accenture. She previously worked with Biden and Sen. Thomas R. Carper (D-Del.) as executive director of the Delaware Democratic Party. No replacement has been named.
Even further away from Washington, David Sherzer is stepping down as spokesman for former president George W. Bush after nine years of service. He is headed to Reata Pharmaceuticals, a Dallas-based biotech company. Sherzer will be replaced by Freddy Ford.