The search for the new White House Press Secretary is over: Jay Carney ’87, communications director for Joe Biden and former Washington bureau chief for Time magazine, was selected by President Obama for the post Thursday afternoon.
Carney, a journalist by trade, was picked over a number of competitive candidates, most notably Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton, who had been projected as a favorite for the position after current Press Secretary Robert Gibbs announced his intention to leave the post in early January.
In an interview with the Washington Post after joining the Biden’s staff in 2008, Carney suggested that his background in journalism and separation from the political sphere would be useful for the job as spokesperson.
“I think I bring the perspective of knowing a little bit more maybe about what motivates journalists,” he said. “I think I probably see pretty clearly that often when a negative story seems to be breaking that there’s not an ax to grind or an agenda or anything like that, but just a reporter chasing a story.”
At his job with Time Magazine, Carney worked in Moscow covering the Soviet Union before switching to a focus on domestic politics. He most notably covered the Clinton and Bush presidencies.
Press Secretary Gibbs announced his decision to take time off from his position on Jan. 5. During his time away from the Obama Administration, Gibbs plans to advise the president as well as prepare for his re-election campaign.
During his time at Yale, Carney was a member of Timothy Dwight College and majored in Russian and Eastern European Studies.