Karine Jean-Pierre is set to make history by becoming both the first Black and openly LGBTQ+ White House Press Secretary in the US. She will be taking over the role from Jen Psaki, who will step down from the position on Friday, May 13.
Currently working as the Principal Deputy Press Secretary and Deputy Assistant to the President, Jean-Pierre recorded her name in the history books in similar circumstances on May 26, 2021, when she filled in for Psaki to become the first openly lesbian person to lead a White House briefing. She is also just the second Black woman to have ever undertaken the task.
Psaki described her successor as a “passionate” and “smart person” with a “moral core that makes her not just a great colleague, but an amazing mom and human.” Jean-Pierre is in a domestic partnership with journalist Suzanne Malveaux, and the pair have a child together.
She added that, “Representation matters and she will give a voice to many, but also make many dream big about what is truly possible.”
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.
— Jen Psaki (@PressSec) May 5, 2022
President Joe Biden added to the compliments, saying: “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 the administration.”
Thank you @POTUS and @FLOTUS for this opportunity. It is a true honor. I look forward to serving this Administration and the American people. I have big shoes to fill. @PressSec has been a great friend, mentor and excellent press secretary. pic.twitter.com/1knmbe2Nxq
— Karine Jean-Pierre (@KJP46) May 5, 2022
The soon-to-be White House press secretary expressed that she is “still processing” the appointment and said that the “historic moment” is “not lost” on her. Born to Haitian parents, the achievement is monumental not just for the LGBTQ+ community, but also for the Black community.
“I understand how important it is for so many people out there,” she continued. “So many different communities that I stand on their shoulders.”
The 44 year-old boasts an impressive CV. She was Kamala Harris’s chief of staff during her 2020 vice-presidential run, and worked on Barack Obama’s successful 2008 and 2012 campaigns. Jean-Pierre is also a political analyst, and advisor and spokesperson for MoveOn.org – an organisation that mobilises together to achieve “a world marked by equality, sustainability, justice and love”.
Congratulations Karine on making history as our next White House press secretary. I am looking forward to seeing you behind the podium. You are going to do great, @KJP46.
— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) May 6, 2022
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