Karine Pierre was selected the new White House press secretary by US President Joe Biden on Thursday, making her the first Black woman to fill the high-profile position.
From May 13, Karine Jean-Pierre, who will be the first openly LGBTQ+ person in the position, will take over for Jen Psaki, under whom she served as deputy.
Biden said he was “glad” to announce Jean-selection, Pierre’s praising her “experience, talent, and integrity.”
Bringing Jean-Pierre behind the podium for the usual briefing of recognized journalists at the White House on Thursday, the outgoing spokeswoman extolled the virtues of her deputy, whom she hugged multiple times, in a voice sometimes choked with emotion.
Jean-Pierre “will be the first Black woman, the first out LGBTQ+ person to serve in this post,” according to Psaki, who has stated that she will not serve under Biden’s term.
Jean-promotion Pierre’s is “great because representation counts, and she is going to provide a voice to so many people and show them what is truly possible when you work hard and dream big,” Psaki said, declining to comment on media claims that she will leave the White House to join MSNBC.
“This is a historic event, and it is not lost on me,” the future press secretary stated, evidently touched. I recognize how critical it is for so many individuals.”
The 44-year-old Jean-Pierre, who has a baby with her CNN journalist partner, has already taken Psaki’s place behind the famous podium in the White House’s James S. Brady Press Briefing Room.
She’ll take center stage at the White House press briefing, which is aired live and closely watched, starting in May.
Only one other Black woman has ever served as deputy White House press secretary, Judy Smith, during George H.W. Bush’s presidency in 1991.
Before joining Biden’s team in the White House, Jean-Pierre served on both former President Barack Obama’s campaigns in 2008 and 2012, and then on Biden’s campaign in 2020.
She also worked with Biden when he was Obama’s vice president.
According to the White House announcement, Jean-Pierre formerly served as the chief public affairs officer for lefty advocacy group MoveOn.org and as a political analyst for NBC and MSNBC.
Jean-Pierre was born in Martinique to Haitian parents who relocated to the United States, where her father worked as a cab driver and her mother worked as a home health aide.
She began her career in politics in New York before moving on to become a prominent player in the non-profit sector after graduating from Columbia University.
Jean-Pierre has repeatedly stated that her family’s “American dream” background was a deciding influence in her career.
In a book published in 2019, she wrote on “the pressure of growing up in an immigrant household to succeed.”
The new White House spokeswoman has described her own experiences of being sexually molested as a youngster, as well as suffering from depression and attempted suicide.
“If you are enthusiastic about what you want to be, where you want to go, and you work really hard toward that goal, it will happen,” she remarked on Thursday when asked about the message she wants to send to American kids.
“You’ll be knocked down and go through some difficult moments, and it won’t always be easy, but the benefits are incredible, especially if you stay true to yourself.”