State Department spokesperson Ned Price will step down from his role as press secretary this month after more than two years on the job, the department announced Tuesday.

“Ned has helped the U.S. government defend and promote press freedom around the globe and modeled the transparency and openness we advocate for in other countries. His contributions will benefit the Department long after his service,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

Price will transition to a role working directly for Blinken. Deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel will take over as the department’s press secretary in the interim.

Price, who held more than 200 briefings during his tenure, was the longest-serving press secretary within the Biden administration. Former White House press secretary Jen Psaki left the administration last May, and former Pentagon press secretary John Kirby moved over to a White House role last year. 

As the face of the State Department’s communications team, Price communicated the administration’s positions on a slew of major foreign policy issues, including the chaotic withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan in August 2021 and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Price previously worked from 2006-2017 as a CIA and National Security Council staffer during the Obama administration.