In a historic first, Karine Jean-Pierre has become the first Black woman and the first openly gay person to become the official White House Press Secretary and Assistant to the President. Jean-Pierre was promoted to the position, formerly serving as the Principal Deputy Press Secretary and Deputy Assistant, after Jen Psaki resigned as the Press Secretary after fulfilling her one-year commitment.
“I am proud to announce that Karine Jean-Pierre will serve as the next White House Press Secretary,” President Biden said in an official statement, “Karine not only brings the experience, talent and integrity needed for this difficult job, but she will continue to lead the way in communicating about the work of the Biden-Harris Administration on behalf of the American people. Jill and I have known and respected Karine a long time, and she will be a strong voice speaking for me and this Administration.”
Born in Martinique and raised in New York, Jean-Pierre is a graduate of Columbia University, where she received her Master’s Degree in Public Affairs. Besides being the Principal Deputy Press Secretary and Deputy Assistant to the President, Karine is no stranger to working in politics or with President Biden. A long-time advisor to President Biden, Jean-Pierre served in senior communication and political roles in the Biden Administration, the Biden campaign and to then-Vice President Biden in the Obama Administration before taking on her most recent government roles.
Prior to her role on the campaign, she served as Chief Public Affairs Officer for MoveOn.org and an NBC and MSNBC Political Analyst. Jean-Pierre served as Regional Political Director for the White House Office of Political Affairs during the Obama-Biden administration and as Deputy Battleground States Director for President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. She served as Southeast Regional Political Director for President Obama’s 2008 campaign, Deputy Campaign Manager for Martin O’Malley for President, Campaign Manager for the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Initiative and Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of Legislative and Budget Affairs for two members in the New York City Council.
Previously, she worked at the Center for Community and Corporate Ethics, pushing major companies to change their business practices, and is a published author.
“This is a historic moment, and it’s not lost on me,” Jean-Pierre stated of her appointment, “I understand how important it is for so many people out there, so many different communities, that I stand on their shoulders, and I have been throughout my career.”
Many took to social media to celebrate the incredible firsts that Jean-Pierre was accomplishing, including former Press Secretary, Jen Psaki, who tweeted her praise to Jean-Pierre’s character, work ethic and appointment:
“She is passionate; she is smart and has a moral code that makes her not just a great colleague, but an amazing Mom and human,” Psaki tweeted, “…she will be the first Black woman and the first openly LGBTQ+ person to serve as the White House Press Secretary. Representation matters and she will give a voice to many, but also make many dream big about what is truly possible.”
Sources: The White House, CNBC