By Cecilia Ologunagba
New York, May 13, 2022
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has bid farewell to the White House Press Corps, standing in the Press Briefing Room for the last time on Friday.
She was in the Briefing Room facing questions on crises old and new, foreign and domestic.
The outgoing Press Secretary addressed the baby formula shortage and gun violence, immigration and war.
She also addressed the journalists seated and standing before her. “You have challenged me. You have pushed me. You have debated me — and at times we have disagreed.
“That is democracy in action,” she said.
Psaki acknowledged that her plans to “keep it together” were being undone in the moment.
She thanked President Joe Biden, first lady Jill Biden, her colleagues at the White House and the journalists in the Press Corps.
Her successor, Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, watched from a chair alongside several of her loyal deputies in the White House communications department.
Jean-Pierre, 44-year-old daughter of Haitian immigrants, making history as the first black woman, will replace Psaki.
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 Centre 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.