White House principal deputy press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre made history on May 26, becoming just the second Black woman and the first openly LGBTQ individual to lead a daily White House press briefing.
CNN’s Allie Malloy and Caroline Kelly reported that “Judy Smith, who was a deputy press secretary under President George H.W. Bush, was the first Black female White House spokeswoman to hold a daily press briefing in the briefing room in 1991.”
Jean-Pierre now follows in her footsteps as part of the all-female White House senior communications team, led by Jen Psaki, that President Biden announced last fall following his election win.
“The seven women, several of whom are women of color, occupy some of the most visible roles in the administration,” Malloy and Kelly said.
As the briefing started, Jean-Pierre acknowledged the historic nature of the moment, saying, “it’s a real honor to be standing here today. But I believe that … being behind this podium, being in this room, being in this building is not about one person. It’s about what we do on behalf of the American people.”
“This is not about me. This is not about any of us,” Jean-Pierre said. “Anytime I’m behind here, and I think you’ve heard Jen [Psaki] say this as well — we are going to be truthful. We are going to be transparent as well.”
Prior to her role in the Biden White House, Jean-Pierre worked on the presidential campaigns for President Barack Obama and Martin O’Malley. She also served as a political analyst for NBC and MSNBC.
“She came to the press team with connections in activism following her role as chief public affairs officer at MoveOn.org and on the campaign for the American Civil Liberties Union’s Reproductive Freedom Initiative,” Malloy and Kelly reported.
At the time of her appointment, Jean-Pierre thanked President Joe Biden for the opportunity, saying that “clearly the President believes representation matters.”