Karine Jean-Pierre makes history as she is appointed White House Press Secretary

Karine Jean-Pierre makes history this week as she takes over as White House Press Secretary. Jean-Pierre is the first Black woman, and the first openly gay person, to hold the high profile role.

The White House Press Secretary is one of the most recognisable faces of the US government, fronting the media on an almost daily basis to answer their questions. Jean-Pierre takes on the role following the resignation of predecessor Jen Psaki, who is joining broadcaster MSNBC.

Under the Trump administration press briefings were held much left often, but since Psaki has been in the role she had held 224 briefings, more than President Trump’s four Press Secretaries held during his four year Presidency.

Karine Jean-Pierre has served as the Deputy Secretary under Psaki, and was previously the Chief of Staff for Vice President Kamala Harris during the election campaign.

The political operative was born in Martinique, a French territory, to Haitian parents. After her family emigrated to the United States she grew up in the Queens Village neighbourhood of New York.

After graduating with a Masters of Public Affairs she worked for NYC councilor James F Gennaro, before spending time working for non-profit organisations. In 2004 she worked on the Presidential campaign of John Edwards, before joining the faculty of Columbia University.

After working on the election campaign of Barrack Obama, she joined the staff of the White House serving in the Office of Political Affairs. When the Republicans returned to the White House, Jean-Pierre worked for grassroots political organisation MoveOn, before becoming a political analyst at NBC News and MSNBC.

Jean-Pierre lives with her partner journalist Suzanne Malveaux and their daughter. Following Jean-Pierre’s appointment to the Press Secretary role, Malveaux’s employer CNN said she would no longer cover The White House or national political news.

OIP Staff, Image: Cameron Smith

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