President-elect Joe Biden has tapped two LGBTQ+ women of color to his already all-female communications team.
Karine Jean-Pierre and Pili Tobar are the newest set of women to fill out the President-elect’s cabinet positions. Jean-Pierre, who previously worked as the chief public affairs officer for progressive advocacy group MoveOn.org, will take on the role of White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary. Meanwhile, Tobar, who was the former deputy director for America’s Voice, will serve as White House Deputy Communications Director.
“I’m so proud that our communications team for the Biden-Harris administration is a roster filled w/ rockstar women,” Jean-Pierre tweeted after her position was announcd. “All will bring dignity, professionalism and expertise to their respective roles!”
I’m so proud that our communications team for the Biden-Harris administration is a roster filled w/ rockstar women: @jrpsaki, @KBeds, @SymoneDSanders, @AshleyEtienne09 @EAlexander, @pilitobar87 All will bring dignity, professionalism and expertise to their respective roles!
— Karine Jean-Pierre (@K_JeanPierre) November 30, 2020
Jean-Pierre is a daughter of Haitian immigrants born in Martinique and brings a broad skillset to the position. Aside from her work with non-profits, she has worked on three separate Presidential campaigns, as well as served in the White House under the Obama administration. Before taking up the mantle of Deputy Director, Jean-Pierre also briefly served as chief of staff for Vice President-elect Kamala Harris during the power transition. In that final role, Jean-Pierre became the first Black queer person to hold a position in the presidential administration — a role she can now hold on to under the President-elect.
Tobar also brings a number of previous positions and qualifications to her new role. She previously served as the communications director for the Latino Victory Project, as well as working to lead Latinx outreach efforts as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s Hispanic media director in 2017. She then went on to become deputy director for America’s Voice — which Jean-Pierre also worked for — before being brought onto the President-elect’s cabinet.
Jean-Pierre and Tobar join an all-women team composed so far of Kate Bedingfield, who will serve as White House communications director; Jennifer Psaki, who will take on the role of White House press secretary; Symone Sanders, named as senior adviser and chief spokesperson for the Vice President-elect; Ashley Etienne, who will be communications director for Vice President Harris; and Elizabeth E. Alexander, who will serve as communications director for First Lady Jill Biden.
And while the two new hires are certainly not the only women on staff, they’re also not the only LGBTQ+ community members to be a part of the incoming White House team. Carlos Elizondo, who was named as White House Social Secretary, was appointed last week and is the first queer Latinx person to serve in his position. More LGBTQ+ cabinet picks are expected.