By Cecilia Ologunagba
New York, May 5, 2022
U.S. President Joe Biden, on Thursday, announced Karine Jean-Pierre as White House Press Secretary, making history as the first Black woman to hold the post.
Jean-Pierre, 44-year-old daughter of Haitian immigrants, will replace Jen Psaki, who was originally expected to serve for only the first year of Biden’s term.
New COVID-19 variants and the war in Ukraine kept her in the job for several months beyond that self-imposed limit.
Biden, in a statement from the White House, said: “Jill and I had known and respected Jean-Pierre a long time and she would be a strong voice speaking for me and this administration.
“She is not only bringing 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,’’ he said.
The U.S. leader thanked the outgoing press secretary, Psaki, who according to him, had set the standard for returning decency, respect and decorum to the White House Briefing Room.
“I want to say thank you to Psaki for raising the bar, communicating directly and truthfully to the American people, and keeping her sense of humor while doing so.
“I thank her and wish her the very best as she moves forward,” he said.
Jean-Pierre is currently the Principal Deputy Press Secretary and Deputy Assistant to the President.
She is a long-time advisor to President Biden, having served in senior communication and political roles in the Biden Administration, the Biden campaign, and to then-Vice President Biden in the Obama Administration.
Prior to her role on the campaign, she served as Chief Public Affairs Officer for MoveOn.org and an NBC and MSNBC Political Analyst.
Jean-Pierre served as Regional Political Director for the White House Office of Political Affairs during the Obama-Biden administration and as Deputy Battleground States Director for President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.
Previously, she worked at the Center for Community and Corporate Ethics, pushing major companies to change their business practices, and is a published author.
Born in Martinique and raised in New York, Jean-Pierre is a graduate of Columbia University.