Karine Jean-Pierre named White House press secretary; Psaki leaves May 13

Karine Jean-Pierre will be the next White House press secretary after incumbent Jen Psaki leaves on May 13, President Biden announced Thursday.

"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."

Jean-Pierre is the current White House principal deputy press secretary and deputy assistant to the president. She’s held senior roles in the current administration, the Biden campaign, and Biden’s office as vice president.

White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre Holds Press Briefing

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 14: White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre conducts a daily press briefing at the White House on February 14, 2022 in Washington, DC.(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Psaki, who has served as press secretary since Biden took office, is reportedly leaving for a job at MSNBC. She praised her successor after the announcement, noting the significance of the history-making appointment. When Jean-Pierre held her first White House briefing in March 2021, it was the first time since 1991 that a black woman had stepped behind the podium. 

"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."


WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 04: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a White House daily press briefing at the White House on May 04, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Before joining the Biden campaign, Jean-Pierre was the chief public affairs officer for MoveOn.org and an NBC and MSNBC political analyst. She also served in the White House under Obama and worked on both of his presidential campaigns. 

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.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.