At the White House, Ms. Psaki intends to bring back the daily press briefing, which has been all but phased out over the past four years. It is not clear, however, when those sessions might resume, given the constraints of the pandemic.
But as the incoming administration prepares to roll out a coronavirus vaccine and convince more than 300 million Americans that it is safe, Ms. Psaki, colleagues said, views a central part of her job as restoring faith in the words spoken from behind the podium.
“The clown games are over,” said Susan Rice, who was President Barack Obama’s national security adviser. “Jen will represent the professionalism and decency and commitment to transparency that has been a hallmark of Joe Biden’s career.”
As Mr. Trump’s press secretary, Ms. McEnany has focused on remaining in the president’s inner circle and has made little effort to be accessible to reporters or to disseminate accurate information. Ms. Psaki plans to take a different approach, Biden transition officials said.
At the State Department, they noted, Ms. Psaki moved the spokesperson’s office, which had been on the sixth floor, where it was inaccessible to reporters, to be next to the press room.
Ms. Psaki, pronounced SOCK-ee, was a candidate for the press secretary’s job under Mr. Obama, but she is arguably coming into it now at a more difficult and more critical moment.
“I think she brings as much experience in that building, as much as anyone has ever brought to the job,” said Robert Gibbs, who served as Mr. Obama’s first White House press secretary. “The world this administration inherits has more challenges than any in nearly a century. Having a steady, experienced voice behind that podium will serve them well.”