Biden names Karine Jean-Pierre as new White House press secretary | Politics News

Jean-Pierre will become first Black woman to hold key post when Jen Psaki leaves White House next week.

Karine Jean-Pierre will be the next White House press secretary, the Biden administration has announced, as Jen Psaki is stepping down from the post next week.

In a statement on Thursday, US President Joe Biden said Jean-Pierre would step into the press secretary role when Psaki leaves the White House on May 13. She will also act as his assistant.

I am proud to announce that Karine Jean-Pierre will serve as the next White House Press Secretary,” Biden said.

“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.”

Jean-Pierre is currently the White House’s deputy press secretary and deputy assistant to Biden.

She previously held senior communication and political roles in Biden’s presidential campaign team and when he served as vice-president during the Obama administration, the White House statement said.

Jean-Pierre also was the chief public affairs officer of the progressive group and a former political analyst for NBC and MSNBC.

Psaki praised her successor, noting the significance of the history-making appointment.

“She will be the first Black woman and the first openly LGBTQ+ person to serve as the White House Press Secretary,” Psaki said. “Representation matters and she will give a voice to many, but also make many dream big about what is truly possible.”

Psaki says Jean-Pierre ‘will give a voice to many’ [File: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters]

When she took the press secretary role, Psaki said publicly that she aimed to remain in the job for about a year.

In Thursday’s statement, Biden thanked Psaki for her contribution to his administration, saying she “set the standard for returning decency, respect and decorum to the White House Briefing Room”.

“I want to say thank you to Jen for raising the bar, communicating directly and truthfully to the American people, and keeping her sense of humor while doing so. I thank Jen her service to the country, and wish her the very best as she moves forward.”

Jean-Pierre was asked in May of last year what it felt like to be the first Black woman to brief the White House press corps in decades. “It’s a real honour to just be standing here today,” she told reporters.

“I appreciate the historic nature, I really do. But I believe that being behind this podium, being in this room, being in this building, is not about one person; it’s about what you do on behalf of the American people.”

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