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Biden taps 1st Black woman, LGBT White House press secretary

The announcement comes amid previous reports that Jen Psaki will be joining MSNBC.
Credit: AP
FILE - White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre takes a question from a reporter during the press briefing at the White House in Washington, July 30, 2021.

WASHINGTON — White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki will be stepping down next week and will be replaced by principal deputy Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House announced on Thursday.

“Jen Psaki has set the standard for returning decency, respect and decorum to the White House Briefing Room," President Joe Biden said in the statement. "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 her service to the country, and wish her the very best as she moves forward.”

Psaki, who leaves the White House on May 13, congratulated Jean-Pierre on her historic appointment as the first Black woman and first openly LGBTQ+ 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," Psaki tweeted. 

The announcement comes amid reports that Psaki will be joining MSNBC. 

When she took the job, Psaki, who has two young children, said publicly she aimed to remain in the job for about a year.

In addition to her current role as principal deputing press secretary, Jean-Pierre also currently serves as deputy assistant to the president. She served as senior roles during Biden's campaign and to then-Vice President Biden in the Obama Administration. 

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

Prior to her role on the campaign, she served as Chief Public Affairs Officer for MoveOn.org and an NBC and MSNBC Political Analyst. Born in Martinique and raised in New York, Jean-Pierre is a graduate of Columbia University.

The White House also announced its plan to bring back longtime strategist Anita Dunn as Biden's senior adviser. Dunn served in the White House last year after Biden was sworn into office.

 


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