Karine Jean-Pierre makes history as first Black and openly LGBTQ+ White House press secretary
Joe Biden has named Karine Jean-Pierre as his next White House press secretary, making her the first Black and openly LGBTQ+ person to hold the position.
“I am proud to announce that Karine Jean-Pierre will serve as the next White House press secretary,” Joe 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.
“Jill and I have known and respected Karine a long time and she will be a strong voice speaking for me and this administration.”
Jean-Pierre has served as principal deputy press secretary and deputy assistant to the president since Joe Biden entered office in 2021.
Prior to joining the White House, Jean-Pierre worked in public affairs for MoveOn.org and was a political analyst for NBC and MSNBC.
Thank you @POTUS and @FLOTUS for this opportunity. It is a true honor. I look forward to serving this Administration and the American people. I have big shoes to fill. @PressSec has been a great friend, mentor and excellent press secretary. pic.twitter.com/1knmbe2Nxq
— Karine Jean-Pierre (@KJP46) May 5, 2022
During the Obama-Biden administration, Jean-Pierre served as regional political director for for the White House office of political affairs. She also worked on Obama’s 2008 and 2012 election campaigns.
In addition to her political experience, Jean-Pierre worked as a campaign manager for the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Initiative.
Representation matters and she will give a voice to many, but also make many dream big about what is truly possible.
Psaki praised Jean-Pierre on Twitter shortly after the news was made public, writing: “She will be the first Black woman and the first openly LGBTQ+ person to serve as the White House press secretary. Representation matters and she will give a voice to many, but also make many dream big about what is truly possible.”
Karine Jean-Pierre’s appointment comes amid ‘unprecedented’ attacks on LGBTQ+ community
News of Jean-Pierre’s appointment was welcomed by LGBTQ+ advocacy groups.
The LGBTQ Victory Institute, an organisation that works to increase the number of LGBTQ+ people in government, said Jean-Pierre’s success will inspire young people.
“Karine is a lifelong public servant and fierce LGBTQ advocate,” Annise Parker, president and CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Institute said in a statement.
“We are proud to have advocated for her historic nomination. As White House press secretary, she will not only be able to use her podium to represent the Biden Administration, but also the LGBTQ community during a time of unprecedented anti-LGBTQ hate and attacks.
“As the first out LGBTQ person and the first Black person to hold this office, her appointment will inspire countless young people looking for hope and motivation during a dark chapter in our nation’s history.”
Parker went on to praise Jean-Pierre for shattering the “lavender ceiling”, saying she had only done so through “grit, power and commitment”.
“We are confident she will continue to be a strong ally and partner as she works in the highest office of the land.”
The news was also welcomed by Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD.
“Karine Jean-Pierre is a brilliant communicator and person of tremendous intelligence, humour and poise, skills that will serve her and our country well in her new role. There are few jobs more visible or important to our democracy than to share information with the White House press corps and answer their questions.
Our whole community looks forward to seeing Karine deliver for our nation and represent every LGBTQ person with pride.
“To have an out queer person of colour speak fro the president of the United States says everything about Karine’s talent and heart, and recognises that LGBTQ people can belong, contribute and succeed in every room.”
She added: “Our whole community looks forward to seeing Karine deliver for our nation and represent every LGBTQ person with pride.”