WASHINGTON — State Department spokesperson Ned Price will step down from his post this month to take on a policy-focused role in the department.
Price, the department’s spokesman since the first day of the Biden administration, will shift to a position working directly for Secretary Antony Blinken.
Price, who also served as spokesperson at both the CIA and the National Security Council in the Obama administration, says the new policy job is a return to where his career began.
“I started as a public servant as an analyst at the CIA, and I ended up in this job because of a series of accidents, fateful accidents,” Price said. “I have loved being in this line of work for the past several years. And one of the things I love most about it is the connection to the policy.”
Correspondents have praised Price for restoring the daily on-camera press briefings, a practice that was halted during the Trump administration.
“It offers an opportunity for press from around the world to question the foreign policy of the United States, often critically, and requires the State Department to defend it,” Shaun Tandon, a correspondent with Agence France-Presse and president of the State Department Correspondents’ Association, said in a statement congratulating Price on his new role. “It is a tribute to the health of American democracy.”
Blinken, in a statement, praised Price’s “firm grasp of the policies underlying the State Department’s messaging” that made him that much more effective in his communications role.
Vedant Patel, who has served as principal deputy spokesperson at the State Department since last June, will assume the responsibilities of spokesperson after Price steps down on March 17. Price’s permanent successor has yet to be announced.