Karine Jean-Pierre, current principal deputy press secretary for the White House, will become the first Black queer woman to hold the position of White House press secretary when she takes over for Jen Psaki next week.
“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,” Biden said in a statement made Thursday obtained from CNN.
Jean-Pierre will take over the role of press secretary immediately following Psaki’s departure on May 13 to turn over a new leaf at MSNBC. On April 1, when news first began to circulate about Psaki’s decision to leave her role, no mention of her replacement had been made, but Jean-Pierre’s name was the first one mentioned as an obvious contender.
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Jean-Pierre has worked on the White House’s senior communications team since the start of the Biden administration, and has a long history with both Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris as an advisor to Biden, and a member of Harris’ chief of staff prior to her becoming Vice President.
“I am still processing it … this is a historic moment and it’s not lost on me,” Jean-Pierre said in a quote pulled from CNN. “I understand how important it is for so many people out there. So many different communities that I stand on their shoulders … It is an honor and a privilege to be behind this podium.”
Kelly McClure is a journalist and fiction writer who lives in New Orleans. She is Salon’s Nights and Weekends editor, and her work has been featured in Vulture, The A.V. Club, Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitan, Nylon, Vice, and elsewhere. Her first novella, Something is Always Happening Somewhere, comes out on May 13, 2022