Karine Jean-Pierre Leads White House Briefing, Breaks 30-Year Streak

“It’s a real honor to be standing here today,” White House principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Wednesday (May 26). Jean-Pierre became the first Black woman in 30 years to lead a White House press briefing. 

“I appreciate the historic nature. I really do,” Jean-Pierre said. “But I believe that… being behind this podium, being in this room, being in this building is not about one person. It’s about what we do on behalf of the American people.”

During the briefing, Jean-Pierre discussed two other Black women who made history. With the senate's confirmation, Kristen Clarke became the first Black woman to lead the DOJ's Civil Rights Division. Chiquita Brooks-LaSure became the first Black woman confirmed to lead the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Jean-Pierre broke a three-decade streak where no Black women spoke behind the White House Press podium. In 1991, Judy Smith, who served as a deputy press secretary under the administration of former President George H.W. Bush and inspired Shonda Rhimes' Scandal, was the first Black woman to hold a press briefing at the White House .   

Jean-Pierre, an author and political commentator, joined President Joe Biden’s historic all-female senior communications team following the election. She was a senior adviser to the president’s campaign and previously served as Vice President Kamala Harris’ chief of staff.

Photo: Getty Images

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