Karine Jean-Pierre will be the first Black White House press secretary.
White House principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre is replacing Jen Psaki as White House press secretary, President Biden announced Thursday.
Psaki will be leaving the White House on May 13, and her impending departure was expected. Longtime top Democratic adviser Anita Dunn is also returning to the White House as a senior adviser, focusing on the president's policy and communications goals.
"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," Mr. 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.
The president asked Jean-Pierre to serve as the next press secretary Thursday in the Oval Office, Psaki said. The president also praised Psaki, a veteran of the Obama administration who was Mr. Biden's first White House press secretary.
"Jen Psaki has set the standard for returning decency, respect and decorum to the White House Briefing Room," the president continued. "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."
Dunn, a longtime political operative who also worked for the Obama White House, was a top adviser at the White House at the beginning of Mr. Biden's term and during his presidential campaign.
Jean-Pierre, who will be the first Black White House press secretary, has occasionally filled in for Psaki at the White House briefing room lectern and fielded questions from reporters aboard Air Force One.
Jean-Pierre, 44, was born in France and is the partner of CNN's Suzanne Malveaux. They have a young daughter. She worked for the Biden and Obama campaigns, and has served as an NBC and MSNBC political analyst.
The role of White House press secretary is notoriously difficult, requiring a robust knowledge of domestic and international politics, as well as the ability to respond quickly to questions from a room of dozens of reporters.
This story was originally published by CBS News on May 5, 2022.