Karen Jean-Pierre (44) became the first black female press secretary for the White House

Karen Jean-Pierre (44) became the first black female press secretary for the White House

Student Karen Jean-Pierre once asked her how she got to where she is. “Follow your passion, what you believe in. Keep that focus, because it matters. And yes, you are going to have a hard time, but the rewards are great,” she replied.

Jean-Pierre shared this anecdote with the press Thursday after the White House announced that she would be the new press secretary for the Biden administration.

With the appointment, Jean-Pierre became the first black woman and the first gay person to hold this position. She herself speaks of a “very emotional day”, and the significance of the appointment does not pass by her.

Haitian immigrants

The current press secretary, Jen Psaki, will retire on Friday, May 13. to me New York times She trades as the White House’s most prominent public servant to work for MSNBC TV. When she took office in January 2021, she had already indicated that she did not want to speak on behalf of the White House for more than a year.

Jean-Pierre (44 years old) was born in Martinique, the French Overseas Territory in the Caribbean Sea. Her parents are from Haiti, and immigrated to the United States when Jean-Pierre, the eldest of her three children, was five years old. I grew up in Queens, New York. In her words, she took on many of the tasks of taking care of her sister and brother at a young age because her parents worked six to seven days a week.

The high expectations placed on Jean-Pierre were “overwhelming” and “this responsibility sometimes led to difficult times,” she once said in an interview. in her book Moving Forward: A Story of Hope, Hard Work, and America’s PromisePartly memoirs in it, she describes her childhood in the Haitian immigrant community as having a major influence on the rest of her life.

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political campaigns

Jean-Pierre studied at New York Institute of Technology and received her Ph.D. in Public Administration and International Relations from Columbia University in 2003. She has also been teaching at that college since 2014. She began her political career at the beginning of this century for New York City Council members James Sanders and James F. Gennano. Since then, she has served on several presidential campaigns for Democratic candidates: John Edwards (2004), Barack Obama (2008 and 2012), and Joe Biden (2020).

In 2016, Jean-Pierre became involved with MoveOn, a progressive political organization that set itself the goal of preventing Donald Trump from winning during the 2016 presidential campaign. When she approached Biden’s campaign in 2020, she said she looked at her daughter and thought to herself, “No There is no way I can participate in this election.”

animal activist

During that campaign, she was also named Chief of Staff to Vice Presidential Candidate Kamala Harris. The year before, Jean-Pierre jumped between Harris and an animal rights activist during a debate hosted by MoveOn. The activist stormed the stage and took the microphone from Harris. Jean-Pierre managed to prevent the situation from escalating further until security escorted the man off the stage.

When Biden was elected president in November 2020, she was appointed shortly afterwards as White House deputy chief of staff. In May 2021, she held her first press conference in this capacity. Jean-Pierre is in a relationship with CNN journalist Suzanne Malvo, with whom he shares a daughter. Starting Friday, May 13, she will speak to the daily press about US government policy.

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