Biden Makes Groundbreaking Pick for Press Secretary

Karine Jean-Pierre will be the first Black woman to hold the job
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 5, 2022 4:25 PM CDT
Biden Makes Groundbreaking Pick for Press Secretary
Karine Jean-Pierre speaks during a press briefing at the White House in February.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

(Newser) – The next White House press secretary will be a pioneer. President Biden announced Thursday that Karine Jean-Pierre will replace Jen Psaki, becoming the first Black woman and the first openly gay woman in the job. Saying Jean-Pierre has "the experience, talent and integrity needed for this difficult job," Biden added in a statement that "Jill and I have known and respected Karine a long time and she will be a strong voice speaking for me and this Administration," NBC News reports.

Jean-Pierre has been deputy press secretary since Biden took office. She was born in Haiti and grew up in Queens, New York, after immigrating as a child. She was press secretary to Vice President Kamala Harris during the 2020 campaign and MoveOn.org's national spokesperson during the 2016 campaign. Jean-Pierre also worked in the Obama administration, per Axios. In the Biden White House, she has filled in often during the press briefings for Psaki, whose last day on the job is May 13. Psaki apparently is taking a job at MSNBC.

Psaki commented Thursday on Twitter about her successor, saying, "Representation matters and she will give a voice to many, but also make many dream big about what is truly possible." The first time she subbed for Psaki, in May 2021, per the Washington Post, Jean-Pierre told the assembly: "I appreciate the historic nature, I really do. But I believe being behind this podium, being in this room, being in this building, is not about one person. It's about what we do on behalf of the American people." (Read more White House press secretary stories.)

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