Karine Jean-Pierre replaced Jen Psaki as the White House Press Secretary, a role she has filled for Psaki numerous times. As such, she is first black Press Secretary and the first openly gay person to be in that position. However, Jean-Pierre is accustomed to “firsts” – as Kamala Harris’ chief of staff during the 2020 presidential election, Jean-Pierre was then the first African-American and first openly gay person to hold such a position. She has served as the Principal Deputy White House Press Secretary since 2021; previously, she has worked as a political activist, a political commentator, and a political campaign organizer. She is also an immigrant, moving from her birthplace in the Caribbean to Queens Village, New York City at the tender age of five.
|Celebrated Name:||Karine Jean-Pierre|
|Real Name/Full Name:||Karine Jean-Pierre|
|Birthdate:||August 13, 1977|
|Height:||5 ft. 4 in.|
|Marital Status:||In a domestic partnership|
|Is Karine Jean-Pierre Gay?||Yes|
|Highest Political Office:||White House Press Secretary (forthcoming)|
|Profession:||Political Campaign Organizer, Activist, White House Principal Deputy and Press Secretary|
|Colleges Attended:||New York Institute of Technology; Columbia University|
|Degrees:||Bachelor’s – unnamed major; MPA – School of International & Public Affairs (Columbia)|
|Salary:||$155,000 annually (will increase to $180,000 annually when she officially takes Press Secretary position)|
|Net Worth in 2022:||$1 million|
Biography: Early Life and Family
Karine Jean-Pierre was born in Martinique, a Caribbean island that is democratically a part of France. By the time she was five, however, Jean-Pierre, her parents, and two younger siblings had moved to New York City. They lived in the Queens Village neighborhood. Little information exists about Jean-Pierre’s immigration story.
Jean-Pierre, as the oldest child, was often tasked with helping her parents in taking care of her younger siblings. Her father worked as a taxi driver in New York, and her mother was a home health aide. Their work schedules nearly demanded that Karine help in sibling caretaking.
Even though she was busy at home helping her parents, Jean-Pierre attended a college-prep school, Kellenberg Memorial High School. She would then attend the New York Institute of Technology, where she would earn a Bachelor’s degree (her major is not specified). Jean-Pierre also obtained an MPA (according to Wikipedia, an MPA is a graduate degree in public administration; it holds the same clout as an MBA). Jean-Pierre earned this degree at the prestigious Columbia University, where she would later serve as a lecturer.
During her time at Columbia, Jean-Pierre was active in student government, although we are not told her exact positions. We also know that it was during her time at Columbia that she decided to pursue a career in politics.
Jean-Pierre is in a domestic partnership with CNN correspondent Suzanne Malveaux. The pair adopted a daughter, and the family lives in Washington, DC.
Some political pundits have shared concern that Jean-Pierre’s relationship with a reporter could lead to ethics issues. In the past, Jean-Pierre has worked for MSNBC as well.
Jean-Pierre is fluent in both English and French, and she speaks Haitian Creole as well.
Age, Height, and Weight
Karine Jean-Pierre is 48 years old. She is 5′ 4″ in height, and she weighs 119 pounds.
Jean-Pierre’s net worth of $1 million is estimated to be between her many jobs within politics over the years. Currently, her position as White House Press Secretary garners an annual salary of $180,000 per year.
One possible influence to Jean-Pierre’s net worth in a lecture position Jean-Pierre held at her alma mater, Columbia University. Here, Jean-Pierre served as a lecturer at the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), teaching courses on campaign management. Jean-Pierre took the lecturer position in 2014, but it is uncertain if she remains in this role. GoBankRates.com estimates her salary at this position to be $65,000 per year.
Jean-Pierre has also served as political analyst at NBC News and MSNBC. She has also been a Democratic strategist and analyst for PBS’ NewsHour. The exact compensation for these positions is unknown.
Career Outside of Politics
Jean-Pierre wrote a memoir titled Moving Forward: A Story of Hope, Hard Work, and the Promise of America. This was published in 2019, but exact numbers sold is unavailable.
In 2014, Karine joined the faculty at Columbia University as a lecturer providing classes on public affairs both domestic and international.
She was hired to be the outreach coordinator for the Walmart Watch (a non-profit organization with the goal of determining the impact of large corporations on society) in 2006; again, it is unknown how long she stayed in this position.
She was part of the staff of New York City councilor James F. Gennaro, serving his office as the director of legislative and budget affairs.
During 2019, Jean-Pierre was a political analyst at both MSNBC and NBC News.
Career in Politics
Jean-Pierre’s political career began officially in 2008 when she served as the southeast regional political director of the Obama presidential campaign. Once Obama was elected, Jean-Pierre was given a position as the regional political director of the White House Office of Political Affairs. She served in this capacity during the first Obama-Biden term in office.
However, in 2011, Jean-Pierre began working on President Obama’s second presidential campaign. She was the National Deputy Battleground States director. As a part of her responsibilities, Jean-Pierre led delegate selection and ballot access. She also managed political engagement in those battleground states. Part of her job was to “get the word out” regarding the 2012 Obama political campaign.
In 2016, Jean-Pierre worked on the campaign of Martin O’Malley. O’Malley was a Democratic governor from Maryland, and he would campaign from May 2015 to February 2016. Afterwards, he suspended his campaign due to poor results in the Iowa caucuses.
After O’Malley decided to end his campaign, Jean-Pierre began working with MoveOn.org. MoveOn.org was a driving force in politics by this time, forming in 1998 and becoming widely known during the 2008 presidential campaign of Barack Obama.
Jean-Pierre was MoveOn.org’s senior advisor as well as a national spokesperson during this time. She was working with MoveOn.org when an activist rushed the stage during a Kamala Harris participated in a MoveOn.org forum. At the time, Harris was a presidential candidate. Jean-Pierre never technically worked for Harris during her campaign, but she would be a part of the Joe Biden 2020 presidential campaign.
During Biden’s presidential campaign, Jean-Pierre worked as a senior advisor. She had previously worked on the Obama-Biden campaign in 2008 and she worked in the Obama administration, so the choice was a logical one. Jean-Pierre is quoted as saying that she looked at her daughter and said to herself, “There is no way I cannot get involved in this election.” By August of 2020, shortly after Biden secured the Democratic Party’s nomination in June 2020, Jean-Pierre was named as the Chief of Staff for the future vice-presidential candidate (at that time, Biden had not announced Harris as his running mate).
Jean-Pierre was an integral part of the Biden-Harris campaign, and, after Biden was elected, she was asked to become the Principal Deputy Press Secretary, the position she has held until she moves into the White House Press Secretary (likely after May 13, 2022).
Jean-Pierre also worked at the Center for Community and Corporate Ethics.
The Haitian Times called Karine Jean-Pierre one of the “Six Haitian Newsmakers of the Year” in 2018. Forbes has described Jean-Pierre as a “prominent Democratic activist.”
Karine Jean-Pierre also worked for the John Edwards presidential campaign in 2008, prior to moving over to Barack Obama’s campaign that same year.
Jean-Pierre is well-known in Washington, even if she is a new face to many Americans. She’s spent time working in the Obama Administration as well as for Kamala Harris. She’s an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump, and, since her introduction as the next White House Press Secretary, Jean-Pierre has even claimed to be the type of Press Secretary that Donald Trump hates.
Although it shouldn’t be painted as a controversy (what Jean-Pierre did was quite heroic), Jean-Pierre saw a lot of viral attention for physically mixing it up with an activist who took Kamala Harris’ microphone during a MoveOn.org event. An animal rights activist ran onstage and grabbed Harris’ microphone, at which time, Jean-Pierre stood up from her chair on the stage and “physically blocked” the individual from getting any closer to Harris. In the meantime, a group of people, including Harris’ husband would physically remove the activist from the event.
Perhaps the most controversial of things in Jean-Pierre’s career is her outspoken criticism of President Trump. She has called the 45th president a racist both on her Twitter account and on television. In one lengthy tweet, she accused President Trump of “doubling down and tripling down on bigotry and racism.” It is uncertain exactly what type of comments by the president evoked this tweet or if this was simply Jean-Pierre sharing an opinion.
She also tweeted out that she had fears President Trump would start another civil war in American: “I don’t know where Donald Trump wants to take this. But wherever it is, it’s going to be dangerous. It could lead to some sort of a horrible civil war.”
Jean-Pierre has been documented as “fueling the collusion narrative” when the Steele Dossier was introduced to the American people. The Steele Dossier has since been proven false, and the Durham investigation has shown that the dossier was nothing more than malicious gossip. However, the Steele Dossier was eventually used to obtain warrants to determine if the Trump family and its associates did indeed have ties to the Russian government. Most of Jean-Pierre’s comments on President Trump and the Steele Dossier involved posts on Twitter.
Jean-Pierre is said to have agreed with the late Senator Harry Reid, who was then the Senate Majority Leader, in 2016; Senator Reid said publicly that the Trump campaign “was in on” the collusion with the Russian government in an effort to sway the election in Trump’s favor.
Jean-Pierre has referred to President Trump as a Russian “puppet,” and she claimed that “Putin has always had control over Trump” in a tweet from 2018.
Jean-Pierre also had much to say about Trump’s embattled Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. In one tweet, Jean-Pierre said, “Brett Kavanaugh should not be coaching girls basketball.” She tweeted multiple times about issues she believed disqualified Kavanaugh from becoming a Supreme Court Justice. Kavanaugh fought through his confirmation process, and he was eventually confirmed to the bench in 2018.
Karine spoke out on the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial election; she believed that the election was stolen from Stacy Abrams. In fact, she would tweet about this in 2020: “Reminder – Brian Kemp stole the gubernatorial election from Georgians and Stacy Abrams.”
Another area in which Jean-Pierre has drawn criticism is her praise for disgraced former governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo. During the early days of the pandemic, Cuomo spoke daily. Jean-Pierre would retweet or tweet moments from his daily briefings. She would often commend Cuomo as being a real leader during the pandemic. Cuomo would eventually leave the office of the governor amid a sexual harassment scandal as well as a scandal involving nursing home deaths many believed Cuomo was directly responsible for (this was because he ordered COVID-positive patients into nursing homes across New York).
Jean-Pierre also made great criticisms of anyone who referred to COVID-19 as the “China virus” given that it originated in China. She criticized not only President Trump, but also Texas Senator John Cornyn, a Republican.