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Kirby Moving from DoD to Serve as National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications

Kirby is currently the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs. He retired from the Navy in 2015 at the rank of Rear Admiral.

Today, President Biden announced that John Kirby, who is currently the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, will be the new National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the White House. In this role, Kirby will coordinate interagency efforts to explain United States policy and will serve as a senior administration voice on related matters, including as appropriate at the White House podium. This position will be housed at the NSC and report to the National Security Advisor.

“John Kirby is uniquely qualified for this position, and I look forward to bringing his background, knowledge, and experience to the White House,” President Biden said. “From his work as the Assistant Secretary and Spokesperson at the State Department to his work at the Pentagon, most recently as Assistant to the Secretary for Public Affairs and Press Secretary, John understands the complexities of U.S. foreign and defense policy, and he will ably represent the Administration on important national security issues.”

“I am proud to welcome John to the team,” said National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. “I’m excited to see him get to work on behalf of the president and the entire national security enterprise.”

“I am incredibly honored to be given this opportunity to continue serving my country and this Administration,” Kirby said. “I am very grateful to President Biden for his confidence in me and to Secretary Austin for his tremendous support and leadership these last 18 months. Secretary Austin has been more than just my boss; he’s been a mentor and a confidante, and he has helped make me a better communicator. He has trusted me to speak for the Department, and he has trusted me to speak for him. Those are precious responsibilities, the weight of which I felt and respected every day. I thank him for that. I also thank my entire team at OSD Public Affairs. When I messed up, they fixed it. When I did well, they made it so. I’ve never known a better team of professionals. I am excited to start this next assignment very soon, but I will surely miss each and every one of them.”

Kirby is currently the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs. In this role, he advises Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks and serves as the Department’s chief spokesperson. Kirby previously served at the Department of State, as the Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Public Affairs from December 2015 to January 2017 and as the State Department’s spokesperson from May 2015 to January 2017. Prior to the State Department, Kirby served as the Pentagon Press Secretary under Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.

Kirby commissioned in the U.S. Navy in September 1986 and served in uniform for more than 28 years, before retiring in 2015 at the rank of Rear Admiral. He is a 1985 graduate of the University of South Florida and holds a Master of Science degree in International Relations from Troy State University and a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College.

Read more at the White House

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