Jennifer Psaki will be one of the most visible members of the new administration after President-elect Joe Biden takes office. Psaki, whose resume includes serving as the White House Communications Director during the Obama administration, was picked to be the new White House Press Secretary.
Psaki has been married to her husband, Gregory Mecher, for more than a decade. They have two children together.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Psaki & Mecher Met Through Work at the DCCC & Mecher Said He Was Nervous About Asking Psaki On a Date
Mecher and Psaki met because of their shared interest in politics. They were both working with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee when their paths first crossed in 2006. According to the Washington Post, Psaki had just started a new job in the communications department and Mecher was a deputy finance director.
In their first interaction over the phone, Psaki inadvertently gave Mecher the wrong directions to an event. Mecher was traveling with Rahm Emanuel, who was then the chair of the DCCC. As Psaki explained to the Post, she had “no sense of direction” and was worried the group would be upset when they finally arrived. But Mecher said after meeting Psaki face-to-face, he quickly forgot about the mix-up because he thought she was attractive.
Mecher and Psaki traveled often but had desks situated near each other at the Washington, D.C. headquarters. Mecher told the Post he would walk past Psaki’s desk and struggle to get her attention. “Whenever I would do it, she had the headset on, talking on the phone, the BlackBerry she was typing on and the actual computer in front of her where she was talking to someone else,” Mecher said. “So there was no way to accidentally get her attention.”
Mecher was nervous about asking Psaki on a date. But he told the Post he finally worked up the nerve to ask her out, over email, for dinner in September 2006. Sparks flew and the two began a romantic relationship.
But they were quickly tested because Psaki moved to Chicago to work for the Obama presidential campaign in early 2007. For the next year and a half, Psaki and Mecher maintained a long-distance relationship that often involved late-night phone calls due to Psaki’s hectic travel schedule. Mecher told the Post, “The longest we went without seeing each other was 36 days. And I counted. And it was long. And it was hard.”
But he said neither ever considered ending the relationship because both knew the campaign would eventually come to an end. Mecher added he understood what Psaki was going through on a daily basis because he had worked on John Kerry’s presidential campaign in 2004.
2. The Coupled Moved In Together After the 2008 Election & Later Tied the Knot On a Farm in Maryland
Mecher and Psaki moved in together after the 2008 election was over and Mecher proposed a few months later. Mecher explained to the Washington Post that he spoke with his former boss, Rahm Emanuel, over the phone the day after asking Psaki to marry him.
“Only Rahm can congratulate you with several f-bombs,” Mecher said. Mecher added that Emanuel liked to “take credit” for introducing Mecher and Psaki.
According to the wedding announcement, Psaki was working as the White House deputy communications director at the time. Mecher worked on Capitol Hill. He was the chief of staff for Democratic Rep. Steve Driehaus of Ohio.
3. Mecher Grew Up in Cincinnati & Attended a Boys Catholic High School
Mecher was born in September 1976 and was raised in southern Ohio. According to the wedding announcement, Mecher’s mother taught 4th grade at a Catholic elementary school in Cincinnati. His father worked as a mechanical engineer in Hebron, Kentucky.
4. Mecher Has Been Working In Politics For His Entire Career
Mecher began working in politics as a college student. In a 2018 feature for NKU Magazine, Mecher recalled serving as the “student representative to the Board of Regents.” He said one of his fellow student co-regents helped him secure an internship with Congressman Ken Lucas, who represented Kentucky’s 4th district from 1999 until 2005.
Mecher said that the internship solidified his desire to pursue a career in politics and that he has worked in Washington, D.C. ever since. When he married Psaki in 2010, Mecher was working as chief of staff for Congressman Steve Driehaus of Ohio. Driehaus represented Ohio’s first district for one term, from 2009 to 2011.
Mecher’s most recent position was as chief of staff for Rep. Joe Kennedy III of Massachusetts. Kennedy began serving in Congress in 2013 but lost a bid for the Senate in 2020. He challenged incumbent Senator Ed Markey in the Democratic primary and lost by more than 10 percentage points, NPR reported.
5. Mecher & Psaki Are Raising Two Children in Virginia
Our four year old wanted us to vote for someone who likes kids and animals and is strong pic.twitter.com/s9dn1J6WTf
— Jen Psaki (@jrpsaki) March 3, 2020
Mecher and Psaki are the proud parents of two young children. While the couple has primarily kept their kids out of the spotlight, Psaki occasionally tweets about them.
Her Twitter bio includes that she is the “Mom of two humans under five.” In August 2020, Psaki joked on Twitter that she was “bracing for a 2 and a 5 yr old to burst in” during an interview on CNN as she worked from home.
The couple is raising their two children in Virginia after relocating from Washington, D.C., according to a search of online records. In 2013, Mecher and Psaki purchased a three-bedroom townhouse near Georgetown University for $865,000. They lived there for more than five years before deciding to move. The Washington Post reported the couple sold the townhouse in March 2019 for $919,000.
Property records show Mecher and Psaki bought their single-family home, which was built in 2018, for $1.638 million. The house has six bedrooms, 5.5. bathrooms and more than 4,500 square feet of living space, according to Redfin.