Psaki: Karine Jean-Pierre Will Be First Black Woman, ‘First Out LGBTQ+’ Press Secretary ‘Because Representation Matters’

( – White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki is leaving the White House on May 13, and her successor will be White House Deputy Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, President Joe Biden announced on Thursday.

“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,” he said in a statement.

“Jen Psaki has 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 for her service to the country, and wish her the very best as she moves forward,” Biden said.

Psaki announced Thursday that Jean-Pierre would be the first black woman and “first out LGBTQ+” press secretary.

“So, 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. Now, many people in this room have known her for some time, but for anyone who does not know her, I want to provide a little bit of a primer for you, so settle in,” the press secretary said. 


“First, as you all know, 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 not — we should celebrate that, but I also want to make clear what all of her qualifications are, what a remarkable person is,” Psaki said.

“She got her start in New York City politics. She comes to this job with decades of experience, even though she looks very young. We’re both in our 20s,” the press secretary said, laughing.

“Having served in communications and political roles on many campaigns, in the Obama-Biden administration, and for both of former — Obam- — President Obama’s campaigns. She’s a longtime advisor to President Biden and Dr. Biden — they are partners — having served in senior roles for him and for both of them back to when he was vice president, and she’s worked for a number of advocacy organizations, fighting for issues and justice for so many Americans, and I just want to say: I will have a lot to say about how grateful I am for being — for the trust the President and the First Lady and the whole team have given me and entrusted me in the last 15 months, but this day is about Karine, and we’re — I want to celebrate her,” Psaki said.

“And on a personal note: I want to say that one of the first conversations we had when we both found out we were getting these jobs was about how we wanted to build a drama-free — on your best days — place, workplace where everybody worked hard; where we, on our best days, we’re rebuilding trust with the public, and I am just so grateful to have had Karine by my side for this over the last 15 months, and I just can’t wait to see her shine at the podium,” she said.

“So, congratulations, And I can’t wait to see you bring your own style and brilliance to this job,” the press secretary said.


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