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Josh Earnest has been named senior vice president and chief communications officer of United Airlines.

Earnest brings to the company more than two decades of strategic communications expertise from the highest levels of politics and government. Most recently, Earnest has been a political analyst for NBC News and MSNBC, making appearances on the network's leading news programmes including Today Show, Meet the Press and NBC Nightly News. Prior to that, Earnest served for eight years within the Obama Administration, first as deputy press secretary before being promoted to White House press secretary in 2014.

At United Airlines, Earnest will be responsible for developing the company's global communications strategy, leading a world-class team to execute it, working closely with the company's leadership to shape the airline's public image and serving as the company's chief spokesman.

"United Airlines is an iconic, global brand with a long history - but it's United's bright future that makes me enthusiastic about joining the team," said Earnest.