Ned Price to Step Down as State Department Spokesman

Ned Price to Step Down as State Department Spokesman
State Department spokesman Ned Price speaks on the situation in Afghanistan at the State Department in Washington, on Aug. 18, 2021. (Andrew Harnik/Pool via Reuters)
Caden Pearson

State Department spokesman Ned Price will step down from his position later this month, department officials announced Tuesday.

“For people in America and around the world, Ned Price has often been a face and voice of U.S. foreign policy,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement. “He’s performed with extraordinary professionalism and integrity. On behalf of the Department, I thank Ned for his remarkable service.”

Price, who has held the position since the beginning of the Biden administration, will continue working directly with Blinken in a new capacity.

“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 told NBC News. “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.”

In his statement, Blinken credited Price’s contributions to the State Department, including his restoration of daily press briefings, which he said had been inconsistent during the Trump administration.

“Throughout the more than 200 briefings he has since held, he’s treated journalists—as well as colleagues and everyone else he interacts with—with respect,” Blinken said.

Blinken said Price has been “a face and voice” of U.S. foreign policy, who has “performed with extraordinary professionalism and integrity.”

Price served in various roles during the Obama administration, including as a special assistant to the president and senior director for strategic communications and spokesman at the National Security Council. In February 2017, he publicly resigned from the government, citing then-President Donald Trump’s criticism of the Intelligence Community.

“Ned has helped the U.S. 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.”

Before serving as the State Department’s top spokesman, Price worked as a senior analyst and spokesman at the CIA. He has also taught at Georgetown University and worked as an analyst and contributor for NBC News.

Having taken his current position in January 2021, Price is the longest-serving federal agency spokesman in the Biden administration, surpassing Jen Psaki’s tenure at the White House podium. Meanwhile, John Kirby, who previously served as the Pentagon spokesman, is now the dean of the administration’s communication team as part of the National Security Council.

During his tenure, Price helped shape the Biden administration’s foreign policy messaging when the United States navigated a complex relationship with countries like Russia and China.

His deputy, Vedant Patel, will take over as interim spokesman until a permanent replacement is named.