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Voice of Foggy Bottom: Indian American Vedant Patel Named Interim Spokesperson at the State Department

Voice of Foggy Bottom: Indian American Vedant Patel Named Interim Spokesperson at the State Department

  • He will replace Ned Price who is leaving his job to work closely with Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Vedant Patel, Principal Deputy Spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State, will assume the role of interim spokesperson, the Associated Press has reported. The Indian American will replace spokesman Ned Price who is leaving his job to take on a policy-focused role in the department and work closely with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the AP report said. 

Last year, Patel became the first Indian American to hold the daily State Department press briefing. The 33-year-old made his debut on Sept. 6 to fill in for Spokesperson Ned Price who was on vacation. During his briefing, hailed by many on social media as “impressive,” Patel covered topics ranging from Russia’s unlawful invasion of Ukraine, negotiations around the JCPOA and Liz Truss becoming the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. 

Matt Hill, Senior Associate Communications Director at the White House tweeted that Patel represented the United States on the world stage “with the utmost professionalism and clear communication.” Pill Tobar, former White House Deputy Communications Director tweeted: “It’s so great to see @StateDeputySpox Vedant Patel at the podium! Congrats my friend on an amazing debut.”

Before joining the State Department in June, Patel was the Assistant White House Press Secretary. He focused on issues including immigration, climate change and education, and worked with the National Security Council on security-related affairs.

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A San Jose native, the India-born Patel served as regional communications director on the Biden-Harris campaign. During Biden’s primary campaign, he served as the Nevada and Western Primary-States communications director. Before that he worked as communications director to Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, Western Regional Press Secretary at the Democratic National Committee, and communications director to Congressman Mike Honda. He is a graduate of the University of California-Riverside and the University of Florida. He lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife.

Early last year, the then White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki had described Patel as super talented.“I often joke with him that we give him easy assignments. We did not. It’s just because he’s super talented,” Psaki told reporters at her daily news conference in early April. She called him “a beautiful” and “fast” writer. “I think he has a very promising career in government ahead of him,” she said and described his contributions as “amazing” for “everything he does to help me, help all of us, help the President every day.”

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