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Joe Biden names Karine Jean-Pierre, a proud Black lesbian immigrant, as deputy White House press secretary

Emma Powys Maurice November 30, 2020
Joe Biden names Black lesbian as deputy White House press secretary

Karine Jean-Pierre is "profoundly honoured" to be Joe Biden's deputy press secretary (Jim Spellman/Getty)

Joe Biden has named Karine Jean-Pierre, a proud Black lesbian immigrant, as his deputy White House press secretary.

The political heavyweight served as Kamala Harris’ chief of staff during the Biden-Harris campaign and is now the first out lesbian and first Black woman to hold the key media-facing role.

She is among four women of colour filling the seven top communications jobs in the White House – and for the first time in history, the entire communications team will be all-female.

“Taken together, the plans demonstrate the president-elect’s determination to bring in a more diverse leadership team than what Washington has seen in the past,” according to the Washington Post.

“The decisions also reflect the reality that women powered Joe Biden’s victory via, among other contributions, record activism and political donations.”

Jean-Pierre, 43, said she was “profoundly honoured” to be appointed to the prominent role under lead press secretary Jen Psaki.

“I’m so proud that our communications team for the Biden-Harris administration is a roster filled [with] rockstar women,” she congratulated her colleagues in a tweet. “All will bring dignity, professionalism and expertise to their respective roles!”

A seasoned campaigner, activist and strategist, Karine Jean-Pierre has previously worked on presidential campaigns for John Edwards, Martin O’Malley and Barack Obama.

She was born in Martinique to Haitian immigrants and grew up in New York City. She shares a daughter, Soleil, with her partner, CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux.

“As a Black gay immigrant who comes from a working-class family, I know that America hasn’t always worked for everyone, and I know that America still doesn’t work for everyone,” she told Out magazine.

“The truth of the matter is we have a long way to go. But that’s what I’m working toward: mobilising people around this shared vision of what an America that works for everyone could look like – and then making it happen.”

More: joe biden, Karine Jean-Pierre, White House, White House Press Secretary

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