Today@Sam Article

Bearkat Alumna Appointed To Position In The White House

Dec. 15, 2020
SHSU Media Contact: Wes Hamilton

EtiennesquareSam Houston State University will soon have a Bearkat in the White House. Ashley Etienne was recently named to the communication staff for the Joe Biden administration. Etienne, a 2000 SHSU graduate with a degree in political science, will serve as the communications director for Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. She is part of an all-female senior White House press team for the incoming administration.

Etienne served as a senior advisor on the Biden-Harris Campaign and has previous experience in the White House serving as special assistant to the President and director of communications for the cabinet in the Obama-Biden administration while leading communications on President Obama’s signature “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative.

“Communicating directly and truthfully to the American people is one of the most important duties of a President, and this team will be entrusted with the tremendous responsibility of connecting the American people to the White House,” Biden said in a statement about the incoming communication staff. “I am proud to announce today the first senior White House communications team comprised entirely of women. These qualified, experienced communicators bring diverse perspectives to their work and a shared commitment to building this country back better.”

AshleyStephensEtienne has also served as communications director and senior advisor to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, the first woman and person of color to hold the position. Prior to the Obama-Biden administration, she served as Deputy Communications Director and Spokesperson for then-House Democratic Leader Pelosi, Communications Director for House Democrats on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Spokesperson for the Corporation for National and Community Service, and as a Spokesperson in Virginia for the Obama-Biden Campaign in 2008.

"She’s was integral in the formulation and rollout of our women’s economic agenda, regional strategy on immigration reform, and many other critical initiatives," Pelosi was quoted as saying about Etienne.

At SHSU, she was the recipient of the Sammy Award for “Outstanding Sophomore Leader” and the McDermett Memorial Award for outstanding female senior. She also was the vice president for the Kappa Mu Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta sorority and was honored by SHSU as an 'Outstanding Young Alumna' in 2015. 

A Houston native, Etienne also earned her master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University.

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