May 6, 2022
Photo by: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images
The White House is continuing to see change!
President Joe Biden announced Thursday that White House press secretary Jen Psaki will depart the White House on May 13 after a year and a half on the job, and her current deputy, Karine Jean-Pierre will take her place.
“This is a historic moment, and it’s not lost on me,” the 44-year-old Haitian-American said during a recent brief. “I understand how important it is for so many people out there, so many different communities, that I stand on their shoulders, and I have been throughout my career.”
She will be the first Black woman and openly gay person to serve as White House press secretary in an appointment that is truly historic.
Jean-Pierre was raised in Queens, New York, but was born in Martinique to Haitian parents. She earned a Master of Public Affairs from Columbia University after graduating from the New York Institute of Technology.
Her political experience is extensive. She served as a senior counselor to Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign before being named chief of staff for Biden’s vice-presidential contender, who had not yet been disclosed in August 2020.
Jean-Pierre has also formerly worked for former President Barack Obama in the White House throughout his 2008 and 2012 campaigns.
“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 stated.
The president added: “Jill and I have known and respected Karine a long time, and she will be a strong voice speaking for me and this Administration.”
Psaki, who declared early in her term that she intended to only stay in the press secretary role for a year, previously told CNBC Make It that identifying her successor was a crucial part of her work.
“I hope I can play a role bringing a greater diversity of voices and faces and experiences to people who are serving as spokespeople on behalf of the White House and the government,” she said.
Meanwhile, Psaki praised her historic colleague and successor on Twitter, saying, “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 continued: “@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. She is passionate. She is smart and she has a moral core that makes her not just a great colleague, but an amazing Mom and human. Plus, she has a great sense of humor.”
Jean-Pierre announced her appointment on Thursday, calling it “a true honor.”
“I look forward to serving this Administration and the American people,” the Queens native stated. “I have big shoes to fill.”
Congratulations, Karine Jean-Pierre! This is a huge accomplishment!