Meet White House’s first Black, openly LGBTQ press secretary

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Karine Jean-Pierre joined the Biden administration’s all-female White House senior communications team in November 2020

Meet White House's first Black, openly LGBTQ press secretary

Karine Jean-Pierre will be the first Black woman and openly LGBTQ person to become the White House press secretary. AFP

US President Joe Biden on Thursday announced Karine Jean-Pierre to be the next White House press secretary after Jen Psaki departs her role next week. She will be the first Black and openly LGBTQ person to hold the position.

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Jean-Pierre currently serves as the White House’s principal deputy press secretary.

Biden said in a statement that Jean-Pierre will continue to lead the way in communicating about the work of the Biden-Harris Administration on behalf of the American people.

She will formally join the post on Psaki’s last day, which will be 13 May.

Who is Karine Jean-Pierre?

Jean-Pierre joined the all-female White House senior communications team in November 2020, along with six other women.

Prior to joining the Biden administration, she served as the chief of staff for Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris during the 2020 presidential campaign, becoming the first Black woman and first LGBTQ person to hold that position.

In May 2021, Jean-Pierre became the second Black woman in history to hold the daily press briefing 30 years after Judy Smith, who was a deputy press secretary under President George H.W. Bush in 1991.

According to a report by CNN, Jean-Pierre’s family includes her partner, CNN national correspondent Suzanne Malveaux, and their daughter.

She also served as the southeast regional director of the Barack Obama 2008 presidential campaign. During the Obama administration’s first term, she held the position of regional political director for the White House Office of Political Affairs.

Jean-Pierre is not new to her role as she is often present in the room when Psaki briefs reporters. She has even filled in for her in her absence.

According to CNN, she recently replaced Psaki at the last minute for Biden’s four-day trip to Europe amid the Russian invasion after Psaki tested positive for COVID-19 the day before Biden was scheduled to leave.

With inputs from agencies

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