Kaitlan Collins, CNN, May 5, 2022
Karine Jean-Pierre will become the new White House press secretary when Jen Psaki departs her role next week, President Joe Biden announced in a statement Thursday, becoming the first Black and out LGBTQ person to hold the position.
Jean-Pierre currently serves as the White House’s principal deputy press secretary.
Jean-Pierre will formally begin following Psaki’s last day, which will be May 13. CNN reported in April that Psaki was planning on leaving her role for one at MSNBC.
Last May, Jean-Pierre became the second Black woman in history to hold the daily press briefing. She has served on the White House’s senior communications team since Biden took office and before that was an adviser to his campaign and chief of staff to now-Vice President Kamala Harris.
Jean-Pierre’s family includes her partner, CNN national correspondent Suzanne Malveaux, and their daughter.
“I am still processing it because, as Jen said, at the top this is a historic moment and it’s not lost on me. I understand how important it is for so many people out there. So many different communities that I stand on their shoulders,” Jean-Pierre said.
At the White House briefing Thursday, a visibly moved Psaki invited Jean-Pierre up to the podium with her and the two women embraced as Psaki went through Jean-Pierre’s qualifications and the significance of her taking the job.
“I just want to take the opportunity to celebrate and congratulate my friend, my colleague, my partner in truth, Karine Jean-Pierre, the next White House press secretary,” Psaki told reporters at the White House.
She added: “She will be the first black woman, the first out LGBTQ+ person to serve in this role, which is amazing because representation matters and she is going to, she will give a voice to so many and allow and show so many what is truly possible when you work hard, and dream big and that matters, and … we should celebrate that.”