Karine Jean-Pierre

Karine Jean-Pierre by Bloomberg/Getty Images

When Karine Jean-Pierre stepped up to the podium in the White House’s James S. Brady Briefing Room in May 2021, she smashed through a glass ceiling. As the Principal Deputy Press Secretary for the Biden Administration, Jean-Pierre is the first openly gay spokesperson — and only the second Black woman — to lead a formal White House briefing. “It’s a real honor to be standing here today,” Jean-Pierre said. “Clearly the president believes that representation matters, and I appreciate him giving me this opportunity.” Jean-Pierre has been pushing for diverse representation throughout her career. Prior to her White House post, she served as chief of staff for Kamala Harris’s vice-presidential campaign, making her the first Black person and first out lesbian to hold that position. Her political career dates back to the Obama Administration, and she also served as the national spokesperson for MoveOn.org. She has lectured at Columbia University in international and public affairs, and she has offered her political analysis on MSNBC. “As a Black gay immigrant who comes from a working-class family, I know that America hasn’t always worked for everyone,” Jean-Pierre told Out Magazine. “And I know that America still doesn’t work for everyone. The truth of the matter is we have a long way to go.” Her vision is a nation that works for and supports all of its people. “That’s what I’m working toward,” she says. —SJ

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