Biden, White House announce first Black press secretary

Politics

FILE – White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre takes a question from a reporter during the press briefing at the White House in Washington, July 30, 2021. President Joe Biden on Thursday, May 5, 2022, named Karine Jean-Pierre to be the next White House press secretary, with incumbent Jen Psaki set to leave the role next week. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

CHICAGO (NewsNation) — President Biden announced Thursday that Karine Jean-Pierre as the first White House press secretary of color in the history of the United States. 

Jean-Pierre will also serve as the assistant to Biden in her promotion, replacing Jen Psaki, who will depart from the White House on May 13.

“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 a long time and she will be a strong voice speaking for me and this Administration.

“Jen Psaki has 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 her service to the country, and wish her the very best as she moves forward.” 

Similarly, Anita Dunn will return as senior adviser and assistant to the president, the White House announced Thursday. Dunn, who had been working at her communications and political consulting firm SKDK, will assist in advancing the president’s policy and communications objectives in her role. 

Jean-Pierre has been by Biden’s side for quite some time now, dating back to her role as senior communication and political adviser in the Biden administration, the Biden campaign, and to then-Vice President Biden in the Obama administration.

Before working with Biden, Jean-Pierre served as chief public affairs officer for MoveOn.org and was employed by NBC and MSNBC as a political analyst. Jean-Pierre also served as regional political director for the White House’s office of political affairs during the Obama-Biden administration and as deputy battleground states director for President Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign. 

Jean-Pierre also served as southeast regional political director for Obama’s 2008 campaign, deputy campaign manager for Martin O’Malley for President, campaign manager for the American Civil Liberties Union reproductive freedom initiative, as well as deputy chief of staff and director of legislative and budget affairs for two members in the New York City Council.

Previously, she worked at the Center for Community and Corporate Ethics, where she pushed major companies to change their business practices. Jean-Pierre is also a published author. 

Jean-Pierre is a graduate of Columbia University. She was born on the Caribbean island of Martinique and raised in New York. 

Previously, Anita Dunn served as a senior advisor to Biden and brings decades of experience advising Presidents and senior Democrats. 

Dunn is also a former chief strategist to Obama as a senior campaign adviser and as the White House communications director. Similarly, Dunn has also worked in leading roles for Tom Daschle, Bill Bradley and Evan Bayh.

When Dunn was a senior advisor to Biden, she advised the administration’s overall strategy and messaging, helping the president take steps and win legislative victories that helped jumpstart the economy after the pandemic. 

Before that role, Dunn served as a senior advisor on the Biden-Harris campaign, advising on all aspects of the campaign. 

At SKDK, Dunn has worked with progressive and issue advocacy campaigns, giving strategic advice to elected officials, political candidates, CEOs, nonprofits and corporations.

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