White House promotes Kirby to expanded role to coordinate national security communications

The White House’s top national security spokesperson, John Kirby, is being promoted to an expanded role that puts him in charge of coordinating communications across several agencies.

A U.S. official said Kirby’s new title will be White House national security advisor, elevating him from deputy assistant, up to assistant to the president.

In the new role, Kirby will direct a small team, separate from the National Security Council’s press office.

He will also be in charge of coordinating communications for national security for several agencies.

Kirby’s frequent presence at the podium during White House press briefings with press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre ever since Hamas-led terrorists invaded Israel on Oct. 7 has made him one of the most visible faces of the Biden administration.

Despite the new role, he will continue to make appearances in the briefing room at times when national security is the dominant theme of the day, the official said.

‘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,’ Anita Dunn, senior adviser to President Biden said. ‘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.’

The retired U.S. Navy admiral became the National Security Council’s coordinator for strategic communications in 2022, after being brought over from the Pentagon, where he served as Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs starting in January 2021.

Kirby served in uniform for over 28 years before retiring in 2015 as a Rear Admiral in the Navy.

After retiring, he served at the Department of State as the Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Public Affairs from December 2015 to January 2017, as well as the State Department’s spokesperson from May 2015 to January 2017.

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