Karine Jean-Pierre: White House names first black press secretary

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Karine Jean-Pierre has taken to the press secretary’s podium on a few occasions but has never held the top role

President Biden has named Karine Jean-Pierre as his new top spokesperson – the first time a black, or openly gay, person has held the role.

Ms Jean-Pierre, 44, has served as the administration’s principal deputy press secretary since Mr Biden was elected.

She will replace outgoing press secretary Jen Psaki, 43, in the top role at the end of next week.

Press secretaries conduct daily news briefings with White House reporters, meaning the role can be high profile.

Ms Psaki is taking up a job at the left-leaning MSNBC cable news outlet.

On Twitter, she called her successor a “remarkable woman” with “a moral core”.

“I can’t wait to see her shine as she brings her own style, brilliance and grace to the podium,” she said.

Ms Jean-Pierre, previously an analyst at MSNBC, brings more than two decades of experience in Democratic politics to the role.

Born on the French Caribbean island of Martinique and raised in Queens, New York, she was a key political director in the Obama administration.

During the 2016 presidential election, she was the national spokeswoman for MoveOn, a major liberal advocacy group.

Before joining the White House press team, she served as chief of staff to Kamala Harris, after she was chosen as Mr Biden’s vice-presidential nominee.

Ms Jean-Pierre’s appointment comes ahead of crucial mid-term elections this November that will determine how the rest of Mr Biden’s presidency turns out.

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