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Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre Briefs White House Media

Source: Win McNamee / Getty

President Joe Biden has named Karine Jean-Pierre as the new White House press secretary. Jean-Pierre, who will be taking over after Jen Psaki steps down on May 13, is the first Black and openly lesbian woman to hold this position.

“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 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.”

Jean-Pierre has been gaining the necessary experience for this role for the past few years. Before getting this new position, she became a member of the White House’s senior communications team after Biden took office and served as the principal deputy press secretary. She also served as the advisor and chief of staff for Kamala Harris‘ vice presidential campaign in 2020. Jean-Pierre was often present when Psaki would brief reporters, has filled in for her and has spoken to the press while traveling with Biden on Air Force One. She’s also worked on both of Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns.

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“I am still processing it because, as Jen said, at the top this is a historic moment and it’s not lost on me,” Jean-Pierre said on May 5 according to CNN when her new position was announced. “I understand how important it is for so many people out there. So many different communities that I stand on their shoulders.”

Jean-Pierre, who was born in Haiti and immigrated to Queens, New York, also gave advice to young people who hope to be in such a position as hers one day.

“Follow your passion, follow what you believe in and just, you know, keep that focus, because that matters, she said. “I think if you are passionate about what you want to be, where you want to go and you work very hard, it will happen.”

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