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Karine Jean-Pierre to Replace Jen Psaki as White House Press Secretary

Evelyn Hockstein | Reuters
  • President Joe Biden named Karine Jean-Pierre to be the next White House press secretary.
  • A veteran of both the Obama administration and the Biden 2020 campaign, Jean-Pierre will replace Jen Psaki starting May 13.
  • Jean-Pierre will break several historic barriers, becoming both the first Black White House press secretary and the first openly gay person to hold the job.

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden announced Thursday that he has named Karine Jean-Pierre to be the next White House press secretary. 

Jean-Pierre currently serves as principal deputy press secretary. Starting May 13, she will replace departing White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

"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," Biden said in a statement. "Jill and I have known and respected Karine a long time and she will be a strong voice speaking for me and this Administration."

In assuming one of the nation's most visible political roles, Jean-Pierre will break multiple historic barriers, becoming both the first Black White House press secretary and the first openly gay person to hold the job.

Jean-Pierre, 44, is a veteran spokeswoman and an alumna of the Biden 2020 presidential campaign and the Obama administration.

Prior to joining Biden's campaign, she was a political analyst on MSNBC and NBC and the chief public affairs officer at MoveOn.org, a progressive political nonprofit.

Jean-Pierre will become Biden's top spokeswoman at a challenging time for the president and his administration.

Republicans are currently favored to win majorities in both the House and the Senate in this November's midterm elections. In order to help them defend their razor thin majorities, Democrats expect the White House to do two things: Showcase their party's successes and help them drive home a cohesive campaign message to voters.

So far in Biden's presidency, both of these tasks have proven extremely challenging for the White House communications office.

U.S. White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, December 20, 2021.
Kevin Lamarque | Reuters
U.S. White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, December 20, 2021.

Nonetheless, Jean-Pierre will still have big shoes to fill at the lectern.

Psaki has served as Biden's press secretary from day one, and her tenure is widely seen as a successful one.

Upon taking the job, Psaki immediately reinstated the longstanding tradition of daily, on camera press briefings. There, she has maintained her composure under tough questioning and shown a strong command of dozens of different topics.

Over the past year, Psaki has become one of Biden's closest aides.

"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," Biden said Thursday.

After she leaves the White House, Psaki is expected to join a cable news channel.

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