There is nothing more blessed in this world than the presence of a Black woman. From households to Hollywood to Capitol Hill, Black women have kept Earth spinning on its axis and are consistently making it better than they found it. In celebration of Women’s History Month, EBONY is highlighting significant Black women who are dominating the White House with class, style and grace. These women embody the richness found within our community and strive to advocate for the betterment of us all through their work. In the second installment of this series, we are highlighting Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
Born in Martinique to Haitian parents, EBONY Power 100 honoree Karine Jean-Pierre has dedicated her life to servicing the greater community and being a catalyst for change throughout her career. After receiving her Master of Public Affairs degree from Columbia University, she went on to work as the director of legislative and budget affairs for New York City councilor James F. Gennaro.
Although she currently serves as the Deputy Press Secretary for the Biden-Harris administration, this is not Jean-Pierre’s first time making moves on the inside of the White House. In 2008, she was tapped to serve as the southeast regional political director for Barack Obama’s Presidential campaign. During his first term, she was the regional political director for the White House Office of Political Affairs. During his re-election campaign, Jean-Pierre acted as National Deputy Battleground States Director, ultimately leading to his second term.
“What being a Black woman in the White House means is representation. It means showing that you can do it. It means being able to have a voice for many of the communities I represent on behalf of this President. It is such an important responsibility and I wear it with honor,” said Jean-Pierre in the clip below.
In the midst of the tumultuous and historic 2016 election, Jean-Pierre was named as the senior advisor and national spokesperson for the 2016 presidential election by political action committee and public policy advocacy group MoveOn.org. In 2019, she was the one to separate Vice President Harris and Second Gentleman Emhoff from a protestor who crashed the stage during a moderated forum hosted by MoveOn.
As Deputy Press Secretary Jean-Pierre has had to discuss a plethora of challenge topics such as the devastation Haiti has experienced—both politically, economically and to its environment—and has done so with grace and candor.
As a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community, her presence in the White House as an openly gay Black woman has both been a testament to her tenacity and the importance of having levels of representation in our government. “For so long, people like me—Black, immigrant, gay—didn’t hold positions of power, if you think about it. We do now.”
Jean-Pierre has been a a political analyst for NBC News and MSNBC since 2019. She is also the author of Moving Forward: A Story of Hope, Hard Work, and the Promise of America. The memoir encapsulates her work with the organization moveon.org, being in community with other Haitians in New York growing up, and her political journey fueled by her desire to create substantial change.
To learn more about the Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and her work, check out the video below: