Appointed spokesperson for the White House on Thursday, Karine Jean-Pierre will become the first black and openly lesbian woman to hold this prestigious position. A very symbolic victory.
Karine Jean-Pierre will replace Jen Psaki, whose deputy she was until now, from May 13, according to a statement from the White House in which Democratic President Joe Biden praises “the experience, talent and honesty of his future “Press Secretary”.
“She will be the first black woman, the first openly LGBTQ+ person to hold this position, which is great, because representativeness is important and because she will (…) show so many people what is possible when we work hard and we have big dreams,” said very moved Jen Psaki on Thursday.
Present at his side, Karine Jean-Pierre said that she measured the “historic” nature of her appointment and understood “how important it is for so many people”.
.@PressSec Jen Psaki on @KJP46: “I just want to take the opportunity to celebrate and congratulate my friend, my colleague, my partner in truth Karine Jean-Pierre, the next White House Press Secretary.” pic.twitter.com/c9eqlT3MnT
—CSPAN (@cspan) May 5, 2022
As Jen Psaki’s assistant, Karine Jean-Pierre had already led several of the prestigious White House press briefings. His first stint behind the desk, in 2021, had already been hailed as historic at the time.
Born in Martinique to Haitian parents who then emigrated to the United States, the forties shares the life of a CNN journalist, with whom she has a daughter. “I’m everything Donald Trump hates,” she said in 2018.
Francophone, Karine Jean-Pierre grew up in New York, where her father worked as a taxi driver and her mother as a home caregiver. It was in this city that she graduated from the prestigious Columbia University before taking her first steps in politics and then becoming a figure in the associative world. She has often explained how her family’s journey, emblematic of the “American dream”, had been decisive for her career.
A member of the Democratic Party, she notably worked on the two campaigns of Barack Obama (2008 and 2012) then on that of Joe Biden in 2020 before joining his team at the White House.
The new spokeswoman for the White House is also campaigning to break down prejudices in terms of mental health: she testified to having been the victim of sexual assault in her childhood, and to having suffered from depression, to the point of making an attempt to suicide.
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