US: Karine Jean-Pierre named first 'Black' White House press secretary
In a historic moment on Thursday, Karine Jean-Pierre became the first Black woman and openly LGBTQ+ person to be appointed as the Press Secretary of the White House. US President Joe Biden appointed her to the high-profile position. Jean-Pierre will succeed outgoing press secretary Jen Psaki on May 13. Biden was reportedly all praise for her "experience, talent, and integrity."
- Jean-Pierre's appointment comes just months before pivotal mid-term US elections in November, which will determine how Biden's presidency unfolds.
- The White House press secretary is the face of the United States presidential administration to the national media and, thus, to the country and the world.
- In times of national or political crises, the individual holding this crucial White House position can become instantly recognizable.
Following Jean-Pierre's appointment, Psaki tweeted, "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 (sic)," the current press secretary said. Psaki will reportedly join the cable news network MSNBC next.
According to the White House's statement, Jean-Pierre has previously served as the Chief Public Affairs Officer for liberal advocacy group MoveOn and as a political analyst for NBC and MSNBC. Born in France's Martinique to Haitian parents, she was raised in New York. After her parents emigrated to the US, her father worked as a taxi driver while her mother was a cleaner.
Jean-Pierre has more than 20 years of experience in Democratic politics, noted BBC. She was US Vice-President Kamala Harris's chief of staff before joining the White House's press team. She previously also worked with Biden when he was former President Barack Obama's vice-president. Interestingly, Jean-Pierre worked on both Obama's 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns as well as Biden's 2020 presidential campaign.
Jean-Pierre has frequently stated that her family's background, which exemplifies the "American dream," has been a determining factor in her career. "I am everything that Donald Trump hates," Jean-Pierre earlier stated in a 2018 MoveOn video while referring to Biden's predecessor. "I'm a black woman. I'm gay. I'm a mom," Jean-Pierre—who has a daughter with her partner, a CNN journalist—stated earlier.