The Briefing: Today’s Headlines in Perspective
Drawing on a decade of experience working alongside President Obama on the campaign trail, in the Oval Office and aboard Air Force One, former White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest helped the Leader of the Free World manage and react to urgent developments in politics, business and national security.
Earnest brings an insider's knowledge to today's hottest topics with the same humor and sensibility he employed while answering tough questions at the White House Daily Briefing. An expert on the world of Washington, Earnest knows the key players in Congress and understands how their actions - or inaction - will affect the trends shaping our world.
He also shares entertaining and enlightening anecdotes to bring audiences inside the White House for a candid glimpse behind the curtain.
Josh Earnest meets with students before speaking at Harvard’s Institute of Politics
In an intimate gathering hosted by Harvard’s Institute of Politics (IOP), former White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest shed light on what it was like inside President Obama’s Oval Office and the White House Briefing Room. Addressing a crammed classroom, Earnest enthusiastically fielded students’ questions on everything from social media echo chambers to the current media landscape, offering up both personal advice and candid insights on the new administration. "My advice to you is to, particularly early in your careers, be willing to take risks. Logical risks, but risks all the same," Earnest said. Following the session with students, Earnest spoke in conversation with former CNN White House correspondent Jessica Yellin, moderated by Harvard's JFK School professor David Gergen, at IOP's JFK Forum. Considered Harvard’s “premier arena for political speech, discussion, and debate,” Earnest delivered thought-provoking remarks on “The Press & The Presidency.”Watch Josh Earnest speak at Harvard’s Institute of Politics >>
Josh Earnest steals the show with back-to-back TV appearances
President Barack Obama's White House Press Secretary JOSH EARNEST dominated headlines following two of his recent television appearances—first as a guest on a special live edition of the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and then on ABC’s This Week. Earnest’s signature wit and sense of humor were on brilliant display during his Late Show appearance, as he offered candid analysis of President Trump’s first address to Congress. Earnest’s shrewd commentary was quickly picked up by CBS, The Washington Post, The Week and more, plus a YouTube clip of his insights on “fake news” quickly racked up nearly 500,000 views. On ABC’s This Week Earnest delved into Russian cyber activity and intelligence community investigations, speaking to the most pressing concerns of the American public. Earnest’s comments on the show were incorporated into in-depth articles from Politico and The Washington Post, with Mediaite featuring a full clip of his appearance. Respected for his exceptional understanding of the White House, the media, and the issues shaping our world, Earnest is in-demand for his clear, to-the-point and (at times) humorous analysis.Watch Josh Earnest on ABC’s This Week >>
Josh Earnest Praised by President Obama at his Final Press Briefing
When JOSH EARNEST held his final press briefing, President Obama took the opportunity for an unexpected drop-in of epic proportions. Just as Earnest prepared to take questions from reporters, Obama entered to offer his gratitude and praise. "What struck me most in addition to his smarts and maturity and actual interest in the issues was his integrity," Obama said. "And he's never disappointed, he has always been the guy you wanted him to be," Obama added later in his remarks. Earnest started working for Obama as a communications staffer in Iowa in 2007. Their relationship has spanned nearly ten years, and their tremendous mutual respect for one another was on display during the press briefing.Watch Obama's and Earnest's remarks at final press briefing >>
Josh Earnest Voices the West Wing Week
For six years and 388 episodes Josh Earnest narrated West Wing Week, a weekly web-episode that provided unique insight into life in the White House and events concerning President Obama. As part of the Obama administration's commitment to transparency, a topic Earnest covered in an op-ed for The New York Times, the West Wing Week has racked up hundreds of thousands of views on Youtube.Watch the final episode of West Wing Week >>
Josh Earnest Voted "Best Press Secretary I've Ever Worked With" in Politico Survey
In Politico Magazine's second annual survey of the White House press corps, Josh Earnest passed with more than flying colors. The survey asked nearly 70 journalists who the best White House press secretary they ever worked with was, and Josh Earnest topped the list, ahead of those who served in the George W. Bush and Clinton administrations. When asked to rank current and former Obama press secretaries or communications officials in terms of how helpful they were to reporters, again Earnest took the number one slot, ahead of twelve other officials. Praised by Obama for his work ethic, integrity, and intelligence, and credited for taking a pioneering approach to the White House communications strategy, Earnest's success as a press secretary was acknowledged by journalists across the board.Read the full Politico survey >>
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.