By Florence Mafomemeh
History was made at the White House on Thursday as President Biden appointed deputy White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre as the new White House press secretary.
She is not only the first African American woman but also the first openly gay person to hold the position of White House press secretary.
In a statement announcing the pick, The President touted the new press secretary’s experience. “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,” Biden said.
The new press secretary was grateful to The President and First Lady.
“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,” Jean-Pierre said in a tweet.
Formally introducing her successor at the top of Thursday’s briefing and calling her a friend and “partner in truth,” outgoing press secretary Jen Psaki praised Jean-Pierre. In a tweet, she said representation matters.
“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,” Psaki said.
“@KJP46 has decades of experience from her early years working in government and politics in NYC, to her years as an outspoken advocate, to serving as a long-time advisor to @POTUS back when he was the VP,” Psaki added saying that Jean-Pierre is passionate, smart, has a great sense of humor and a moral core that makes her not just a great colleague, but an amazing Mom and human.
Jean-Pierre was born in Fort-de-France, Martinique to Haitian parents and was raised in Queens Village, New York City from age 5 and is the eldest of three siblings.
She attended New York Institute Of Technology and Columbia University.
Previously, Jean-Pierre was the senior advisor and national spokeswoman for MoveOn.org and a political analyst for NBC News and MSNBC. She is also a former lecturer in international and public affairs at Columbia University.
Jean Pierre is set to become the 35th White House Press Secretary on May 13, 2022 taking over from Jen Psaki who leaves to go work in television after holding the position for about a year and a half.