President Joe Biden has appointed Karine Jean-Pierre to be the White House Press Secretary. The historic move makes Jean-Pierre the first Black person and first out LGBTQ person to be the top administration spokesperson.
In a time when the civil rights of women, people of color, and LGBTQ people are being dismantled by the right Biden’s move sends a strong signal to not only the nation but the world that protecting civil rights and positioning exceptionally talented people for the world to see is among his top priorities.
“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,” President Biden said in a statement Thursday afternoon. “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, currently the Principal Deputy Press Secretary and Deputy Assistant to the President will officially become Press Secretary and Assistant to the President May 13, when Jen Psaki will officially step down. From the beginning of her service Psaki had communicated to the White House she would be in that role for only a year.
“Jen Psaki has set the standard for returning decency, respect and decorum to the White House Briefing Room,” President Biden added. “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.”
Calling it a “historic appointment,” GLAAD praised the move.
“Karine Jean-Pierre is a brilliant communicator and person of tremendous intelligence, humor and poise, skills that will serve her and our country well in her new role,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis in a statement. “There are few jobs more visible or more important to our democracy than to share information with the White House press corps and answer their questions. To have an out queer person of color speak for the President of the United States says everything about Karine’s talent and heart, and recognizes that LGBTQ people can belong, contribute and succeed in every room. Our whole community looks forward to seeing Karine deliver for our nation and represent every LGBTQ person with pride.”