Karine Jean-Pierre Becomes First Black WH Press Secretary
US President Joe Biden on Thursday appointed Karine Jean-Pierre as the next White House press secretary, while incumbent Jen Psaki is leaving the role next week.
Biden is also bringing back longtime Democratic strategist Anita Dunn as his senior adviser. She served in the Biden White House last year for several months after Biden was sworn in.
“Not only will Karine bring the experience, talent, and integrity needed to this difficult work, but she will continue to lead the way in communicating the work of the Biden-Harris administration on behalf of the people. America,” Biden said in a statement of praise. Jean-Pierre, who has served as his chief deputy press secretary since Inauguration Day.
Psaki, who left the White House on May 13, praised his successor, noting the importance of the appointment making history.
“She will be the first black woman and the first openly LGBTQ+ person to hold the position of White House Press Secretary,” Psaki said. “Representation is very important and she will have a voice for many, but also make many people dream of what is really possible.”
Prior to joining the Biden presidential campaign, Jean-Pierre was the public director of the progressive group MoveOn.org and a former political analyst for NBC and MSNBC. She also worked on political affairs in Obama’s White House and on his re-election campaign.
When she took the job, Psaki, who has two young children, said publicly that she wanted to stay in this job for about a year.
Biden said Psaki “set the standard for returning courtesy, respect, and courtesy to the White House boardroom.”
“I want to say thank you to Jen for raising the bar, communicating directly and honestly with the American people, and keeping her sense of humor in doing so,” Biden said. “I thank Jen for her service to the country, and wish her the best as she moves forward.”
Dunn is a partner at Democratic consulting firm SKDK, and served as a senior adviser on Biden’s 2020 campaign and was previously chief strategist and communications director for President Barack Obama. The White House said she was returning to “assist in advancing the President’s policy and communications goals.”