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Biden picks Karine Jean-Pierre, a proud Black lesbian immigrant, for Deputy Press Secretary

Jean-Pierre will be one of four women of color on the communications team, set to be all-women this term.

Biden picks Karine Jean-Pierre, a proud Black lesbian immigrant, for Deputy Press Secretary
Image Source: MoveOn Big Ideas Presidential Forum. SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 01. (Photo by Kimberly White/Getty Images for MoveOn)

President-elect Joe Biden's White House staff is definitively the most diverse yet. Reaffirming this, he has picked Karine Jean-Pierre for the role of White House Deputy Press Secretary, PinkNews reports. Once the nomination is official, she will be the first Black, lesbian, immigrant woman to occupy the position. She will also be part of the first-ever press team to include only women. Prior to this, she served as the Chief of Staff for Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Kamala Harris on Biden's 2020 Presidential campaign. Jean-Pierre is also an activist, author, and political commentator for NBC News and MSNBC.


Geoff Bennett, the White House correspondent for NBC News, first shared Biden's pick via Twitter two weeks ago. He posted, "Karine Jean-Pierre has emerged as a top candidate for Biden's White House Press Secretary... She would be the first Black woman in that role." While Jen Psaki has assumed the role of Press Secretary, Jean-Pierre will still play a major role as Deputy Press Secretary, one of the seven top communications jobs in the White House. She will be joined by three other women of color, marking an important milestone in the history of the White House and the Presidents' staffing choices.


Jean-Pierre acknowledged the nomination in a tweet, stating she was "profoundly honored" to fulfill the role. "I’m so proud that our communications team for the Biden-Harris administration is a roster filled [with] rockstar women," she wrote. "All will bring dignity, professionalism and expertise to their respective roles!" In addition to being a seasoned communications expert, the newly-announced Deputy Press Secretary has previously worked on Presidential campaigns for John Edwards, Martin O’Malley, and Barack Obama, making her the perfect pick for the role. Her background also gives her a fresh and intersectional perspective of the role the press can play in the federal administration.


She was born in Martinique to Haitian immigrants and grew up in New York City. In an interview with Out Magazine, she described what her mission was. "As a Black gay immigrant who comes from a working-class family, I know that America hasn’t always worked for everyone, and I know that America still doesn’t work for everyone," the staffer explained. "The truth of the matter is we have a long way to go. But that’s what I’m working toward: mobilising people around this shared vision of what an America that works for everyone could look like, and then making it happen."


Jean-Pierre and Psaki will be joined by Elizabeth E. Alexander, Communications Director for the First Lady; Kate Bedingfield, White House Communications Director; Ashley Etienne, Communications Director for the Vice President; Symone Sanders, Senior Advisor and Chief Spokesperson for the Vice President; and Pili Tobar, Deputy White House Communications Director. Vice President Harris affirmed, "Our country is facing unprecedented challenges, from the coronavirus pandemic to the economic crisis, to the climate crisis, and a long-overdue reckoning over racial injustice. To overcome these challenges, we need to communicate clearly, honestly, and transparently with the American people, and this experienced, talented, and barrier-shattering team will help us do that. These communications professionals express our commitment to building a White House that reflects the very best of our nation."


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