Josh Earnest

White House Press Secretary For President Obama (2014-2017)


In the midst of an increasingly caustic media environment, Josh Earnest was selected by President Obama to assume the most visible job in American politics as White House press secretary in 2014. Earnest distinguished himself - not with bluster - but with a keen ability to marshal facts and construct persuasive arguments that earned him the respect of Washington insiders in both parties.


Earnest stood before the White House press corps each day for the last two and a half years of Obama's tenure prepared to discuss the most complex and consequential issues in the world. Whether reacting to a legislative setback, a diplomatic breakthrough or a terror attack, Earnest earned a reputation for uncommon poise under an intense spotlight where there is no margin for error. In fact, White House correspondents surveyed by Politico in 2015 voted Earnest the "best White House press secretary I've worked with."


From townhall meetings on the campaign trail in Iowa to private meetings in the Oval Office, Earnest spent a decade advising and advocating for the man who would make history as the 44th President of the United States. Earnest's role in President Obama's orbit burst into public view in May 2014, when the President made a surprise appearance in the White House briefing room to announce that he promoted Earnest to be White House press secretary.


In addition to defending the President in front of the cameras, Earnest played a leading role behind the scenes to help develop and implement an innovative communications strategy that took the President to unconventional venues like ESPN to talk about Cuba policy and "Running Wild with Bear Grylls" to talk about climate change. This pioneering approach was paired with a fully-integrated digital media presence that put the world's most powerful man at the forefront of an evolving media landscape. The successful implementation of this strategy contributed to President Obama's ability to buck historical trends, confound the critics who were quick to label him a 'lame duck' and redefine the way a second-term President wields authority in Washington.


In eight years, Earnest traveled across the country and around the world - three dozen countries - with President Obama and participated in multilateral summits including the G-20, G-7, NATO, the UN General Assembly, ASEAN and APEC.


Earnest started at the White House on "Day 1" in January 2009 as deputy press secretary, managing the White House press office and filling in for the press secretary on Air Force One and at the podium. He first joined Obama's team in March 2007 helping steer the President to an historic victory in the Iowa caucuses that catapulted him to the White House.


Earnest's two-decade career in politics has taken him from Capitol Hill to some of the largest states and most competitive races in the country, including four presidential campaigns, statewide races in Texas and Florida and Mike Bloomberg's first campaign for Mayor of New York City.


Earnest was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri and attended Rice University, where he majored in political science and policy studies. He currently lives in Alexandria, Virginia with his wife and son.


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