WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden on Thursday named Karine Jean-Pierre to be the next White House press secretary, with incumbent Jen Psaki set to leave the role next week.
Biden is also bringing back longtime Democratic strategist Anita Dunn as his senior adviser. She had served in the Biden White House last year for several months after Biden was sworn into office.
“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 praising Jean-Pierre, who has served as his principal deputy press secretary since Inauguration Day.
Psaki, who leaves the White House on May 13, praised her successor, noting the significance of the history-making appointment.
“She will be the first black woman and the first openly LGBTQ+ person to serve as the White House Press Secretary,” Psaki said. “Representation matters and she will give a voice to many, but also make many dream big about what is truly possible.”
Before joining the Biden presidential campaign, Jean-Pierre was the chief public affairs officer of the progressive group MoveOn.org and a former political analyst for NBC and MSNBC. She also worked in political affairs in the Obama White House and on his reelection campaign.
When she took the job, Psaki, who has two young children, said publicly she aimed to remain in the job for about a year.
Biden said 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,” Biden said. “I thank Jen for her service to the country, and wish her the very best as she moves forward.”
Dunn is a partner at the Democratic consulting firm SKDK, and was a senior adviser on Biden’s 2020 campaign and previously chief strategist and communications director for President Barack Obama. The White House said she is returning to “assist in advancing the President’s policy and communications objectives.”