Joe Biden has named his new press secretary, after it was announced that Jen Psaki will leave the administration, expected to become a TV host at MSNBC.
Karine Jean-Pierre, currently the principal deputy press secretary, will be taking over the role after Psaki leaves in mid-May. Jean-Pierre, a political analyst, was Kamala Harris’s chief of staff during the vice-president’s presidential campaign in 2020 and served on Barack Obama’s campaigns in 2008 and 2012.
She was also an adviser and spokesperson for MoveOn.org, a progressive Pac.
Jean-Pierre will be the first Black person and first out gay person in the role. She has filled in for Psaki on several occasions, most recently while her predecessor was quarantining with Covid-19.
“She is passionate. She is smart and she has a moral core that makes her not just a great colleague, but an amazing mom and human,” Psaki said on Twitter. “Plus, she has a great sense of humor.”
In his statement, Biden also lauded Jean-Pierre’s “experience, talent and integrity”.
“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 said.
Biden also lauded Psaki for her work in the role, which spanned tumultuous moments for the administration, including the Afghanistan evacuation, Omicron wave and, most recently, the leaked supreme court draft signaling the end of Roe v Wade.
“Jen Psaki has set the standard for returning decency, respect and decorum to the White House briefing room.”
Psaki’s last day will be 13 May. The White House also announced the return of Anita Dunn as a senior adviser and assistant to the president.
– The Guardian