President Biden confirmed that current deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre will become the new White House press secretary when Jen Psaki departs the position on May 13. Jean-Pierre is making history as the first-ever openly gay Black woman to be picked for the role.
Jean-Pierre was born in Haiti, the daughter of immigrants who moved to New York City when she was five. She has an extensive background in campaign organizing, which she honed while working on Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and while working in his administration during his first term. She’s also served as chief of staff to now-Vice President Kamala Harris.
Fresh off of the heels of judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court confirmation, Biden has at least kept his promise to make a solid example of his administration when it comes to the value of diversity and giving earned opportunities to those who deserve it. Now we have a proud, Black member of the LGBTQIA community standing centerstage in the briefing room of the White House—the kind of representation a lot of young folks have never seen in their lifetimes.
Jean-Pierre, for what it’s worth, is currently dating CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux— and while they make an objectively adorable couple, we hope this won’t compromise Malveaux’s coverage, as White House/media romantic pairings in the past have managed to become a, uh, pretty big problem.
As for Psaki, rumors have been swirling that she’s headed to MSNBC to host her own show, even though the former CNN commentator is staying silent on the subject.
While we wish Psaki well and applaud her for a job reasonably well done, as a Black woman, I also feel a certain amount of excitement and expectation for what Karine Jean-Pierre will bring to this highly visible, objectively important role.