Who will be the public face of the Biden administration?

What to know about the top contenders for communications director and White House press secretary for the 46th president.

(L-R, Symone Sanders, Karine Jean-Pierre, Kate Bedingfield)
(L-R, Symone Sanders, Karine Jean-Pierre, Kate Bedingfield)

Despite the obstinance of the outgoing Trump administration, President-elect Joe Biden is filling political appointments for his first term.

Ron Klain has been named chief of staff. Biden campaign manager and Precision cofounder Jennifer O'Malley Dillon will be deputy chief of staff.

Yet even as Biden's transition team has said it will restore the daily press briefing, top communications positions are up for grabs. The Biden West Wing could also make history by naming the first woman of color as press secretary. 

Here are the ladies at the top of the list for communications director and press secretary.

The Contenders: 

Kate Bedingfield
Media observers agree that Kate Bedingfield is the front runner for either White House communications director or press secretary. 

Campaign staffers and Biden confidants see her as having first choice of which job she wants because of her longtime ties with Biden, according to Axios.

A well traveled Biden aide, Bedingfield served as deputy campaign manager and director of communications for the former VP’s presidential campaign. Her strategic role in the campaign would translate well into the communications director role, overseeing the press secretary and formulating broader communications strategy.

She was a familiar face on cable TV and led press calls and briefings during the 2020 campaign.

Bedingfield first got a taste of the White House press office when she took on the role of rapid response director for the Obama administration in 2009 and served as an associate communications director starting in 2011.

Symone Sanders
Symone Sanders could be the incoming press secretary or offered another position before becoming the top spokesperson down the line, Biden aides told Politico.

As a senior adviser to the campaign, Sanders defended Biden against his harshest critics—even strongarming a protestor after she rushed the stage at Biden's Super Tuesday victory speech—and frequently traveled with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris as an adviser.

As a woman of color, Sanders brings a connection to a growing, diverse base of Democrats, and if picked for the role, Sanders would be the first Black White House press secretary. But at just shy of 31 years old, some top Biden advisers are hesitant about her age.

The Omaha, Nebraska, native landed the gig as Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-VT) national press secretary in 2015 at only 25 years old.

After the 2016 campaign, she worked as a CNN political commentator, providing insight—particularly about the Black community—in the early days of the Trump presidency and was courted by several Democrative presidential hopefuls before deciding on Biden.

Sanders published her book "No, You Shut Up: Speaking Truth to Power and Reclaiming America" in May, and encourages people to push to achieve their goals.

In the Hunt:

Karine Jean-Pierre
A former Obama official, Karine Jean-Pierre joined the Biden team in May and was Harris' chief of staff after she was named Biden's running mate in August. Jean-Pierre was deputy campaign manager for former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley's 2016 presidential campaign.

The French-born Haitian-American is the author of the book "Moving Forward: A Story of Hope, Hard Work and the Promise of America," a memoir chronicling her journey from New York's Haitian community to the White House.

Adrienne Elrod
Adrienne Elrod led surrogate strategy for the Biden campaign and is being considered for a top communications role.

Elrod started her career as a political appointee in President Bill Clinton's administration and was the spokesperson for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign.

Sources have told Axios that there are other alternatives, including the possibility of onboarding a prominent TV personality.

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