US State Department spokesman Ned Price to step down

Will move to job working directly with Secretary of State Blinken later this month

US State Department spokesman Ned Price speaks at the daily briefing at the State Department in Washington, February 25, 2022. (Nicholas Kamm/Pool via AP)
US State Department spokesman Ned Price speaks at the daily briefing at the State Department in Washington, February 25, 2022. (Nicholas Kamm/Pool via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — US State Department spokesman Ned Price is stepping down from his job as the daily face of US foreign policy.

Price will take a job working directly with Secretary of State Antony Blinken later this month, the State Department said Tuesday, and will be replaced in the interim by his deputy, Vedant Patel, until a successor is named.

“For people in America and around the world, Ned Price has often been a face and voice of US foreign policy,” Blinken said in a statement. “He’s performed with extraordinary professionalism and integrity.”

Price is the longest-serving federal agency spokesman in the Biden administration, having started on January 20, 2021, and outlasted Jen Psaki at the White House podium.

Former Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, now with the National Security Council, is now dean of the administration’s communications team.

In his statement, Blinken credited Price with resuming the daily press briefings that had been sporadic during the Trump administration and for having a firm grasp of the administration’s policy priorities.

Price, a CIA and National Security Council staffer during the Obama administration, publicly resigned from government in February 2017, saying he could not in good conscience serve then-US president Donald Trump because of his criticism of the intelligence community.

“Ned has helped the US government defend and promote press freedom around the globe and modeled the transparency and openness we advocate for in other countries,” Blinken said. “His contributions will benefit the department long after his service.”

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