Feb 11, 2024 - Politics & Policy

John Kirby promoted to expanded White House role

Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the National Security Council John Kirby speaks during the daily press briefing at the White House January 10, 2024 in Washington, DC. Kirby answered a wide range of questions, including about Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin's health and absence.

National Security Council's John Kirby at the White House in January. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby is being promoted to an expanded role, a White House official said Sunday.

Why it matters: Kirby, a retired U.S. Navy admiral, has become the public face of the Biden administration's response to the Israel-Hamas war, and Axios' Alex Thompson notes he's a favorite of the president.

The big picture: Kirby, who served as lead spokesperson at the Pentagon and the State Department during the Obama administration, has been promoted to an assistant to President Biden from deputy assistant, according to the official.

  • His new title is White House national security communications adviser.
  • Kirby's new responsibilities include overseeing communications coordination and messaging synchronizing across agencies as he leads the team, which is separate from the National Security Council's press office.

What they're saying: "Admiral Kirby's decades of high level national security experience and his clear, strategic insights make him a deeply valued communicator and adviser on this team," said Anita Dunn, senior adviser to the president, in an emailed statement Sunday evening.

  • "President Biden is proud to have John leading national security message coordination across the administration as we continue to make a forceful case for our national security interests at home and in the world."

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