WASHINGTON (Fwrd Axis) — President Joe Biden on Thursday named Karine Jean-Pierre as the new White House press secretary, becoming the first Black and openly gay person to hold the position. Jean-Pierre will replace Jen Psaki, who will depart the White House next Friday.
“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 in a statement. “Jill and I have known and respected Karine for a long time and she will be a strong voice speaking for me and this Administration.”
#BREAKING: President Biden announces Karine Jean-Pierre will replace Jen Psaki as the White House Press Secretary. “Karine not only brings the experience, talent and integrity needed for this difficult job.” pic.twitter.com/0ZPXBzyGoT
— Stephen Michael (@stephenreports) May 5, 2022
The President thanked Psaki for her time serving the White House and the American people, saying she “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 for her service to the country, and wish her the very best as she moves forward,” Biden said.
Psaki’s last day is May 13. Biden also announced Anita Dunn would return to the administration as a senior adviser and assistant to the president. Jean-Pierre will formally enter her new role on May 16 following Psaki’s departure. FWRD AXIS News reported back in April that Psaki was planning on leaving her role for one at MSNBC.
Jean-Pierre has served on the White House’s senior communications team since Biden took office and was an adviser to his campaign and chief of staff to now-Vice President Kamala Harris prior to that. She also served as Regional Political Director for the White House Office of Political Affairs during the Obama-Biden administration and as Deputy Battleground States Director for President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.
“It is a true honor,” Jean-Pierre said in a tweet. “I look forward to serving this Administration and the American people. I have big shoes to fill.”
Thank you @POTUS and @FLOTUS for this opportunity. It is a true honor. I look forward to serving this Administration and the American people. I have big shoes to fill. @PressSec has been a great friend, mentor and excellent press secretary. pic.twitter.com/1knmbe2Nxq
— Karine Jean-Pierre (@KJP46) May 5, 2022
Psaki’s departure comes as no surprise, having been vocal about only wanting to serve a year in public office. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby was also under consideration according to those familiar with the negotiations.
In a series of tweets, Psaki said she was “grateful” to Biden and first lady Jill Biden, and described Jean-Pierre as a “remarkable woman.”
“Representation matters and she will give a voice to many, but also make many dream big about what is truly possible,” Psaki wrote. “I can’t wait to see her shine as she brings her own style, brilliance, and grace to the podium.”