US President Joseph Biden has picked Karine Jean-Pierre to pick up the baton as White House Spokeswoman later this month following Jen Psaki's departure.
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, he added.
Jean-Pierre previously served as Biden's deputy spokeswoman and has briefed reporters from both the White House briefing room and Air Force One.
Regarding Psaki, Biden said she had set the standard for returning decency, respect, and decorum to the White House Briefing Room.
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, he added.
Multiple reports have indicated Psaki is set to assume a role at the left-leaning MSNBC television news network. Psaki has served as the White House's top spokesperson for over a year since Biden took office in 2021.
Born on the French Caribbean island of Martinique and the daughter of Haitian immigrants, Jean-Pierre has served as Psaki's 'number two' since Biden was sworn in as president in January 2021
Jean-Pierre will become the first African-American and the first openly gay woman in charge of communicating the government's message to the press. Jean-Pierre's appointment is regarded as a follow-up on what happened to Vice-President Kamala Harris, who broke her own glass ceiling by becoming the first African-American and the first American of Indian or Asian origin to reach that position.
Jean-Pierre had long been sounded as a possible replacement for Psaki, who had already made clear his intention to step down about a year after taking office.
Before Jean-Pierre, only one other African-American woman had been able to stand behind the White House press lectern: Judy Smith, deputy press secretary for then-Republican President George H.W. Bush (1989-1993).
Jean-Pierre had long been rumored as a possible replacement for Psaki, who had already made clear her intention to step down about a year after taking office. In a message on Twitter, Psaki described her colleague as an extraordinary, passionate and intelligent woman with strong moral principles and an enormous sense of humor, which makes her not only a great professional but also a great mother (she has a daughter) and a great person.
The new spokeswoman has also worked as a political analyst for NBC and MSNBC, and as a women's reproductive rights advocate for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Jean-Pierre will take office at a time when abortion rights are in jeopardy.