Karine Jean-Pierre made history on Tuesday when presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden unveiled her as chief of staff for his running mate, who he later announced was California Sen. Kamala Harris.
On Tuesday morning, Biden's campaign discussed the team it was designing for his vice presidential candidate and said Jean-Pierre would take the lead, making her the first Black chief of staff for a vice presidential nominee, reports The Hill.
Jean-Pierre has spent over a decade in politics and worked with former President Barack Obama during his first term and on his reelection campaign. She served as chief public affairs officer for MoveOn before joining the Biden campaign, according to NBC News.
As a Haitian American lesbian, she has long spoken out about immigrant rights and the concerns of the LGBTQ+ community. Jean-Pierre announced the move on Twitter shortly before Harris was officially selected as the vice presidential nominee. In the announcement, she poked fun at sexist microagressions that have been directed toward Harris.
"Karine 'ambitious' Jean-Pierre is incredibly proud to be working to elect the Biden/Harris ticket. Let’s go!!" she wrote.
Karine “ambitious” Jean-Pierre is incredibly proud to be working to elect the Biden/Harris ticket. Let’s go!! https://t.co/Y3rNNz6qJG
— Karine Jean-Pierre (@K_JeanPierre) August 11, 2020
Many online noted that Jean-Pierre once went out of her way to protect Harris. The MSNBC regular made waves last June when she confronted a man who jumped on stage during a conference and grabbed the microphone away from Harris.
Jean-Pierre will keep her position as an advisor to Biden in addition to her new role with Harris. She spent years working as a regional political director for Obama after organizing and fundraising for grassroots groups, according to HillReporter.com.
In her book Moving Forward, Jean-Pierre spoke about her past work and inspiration that led her to politics.
“Get involved in your community. Volunteer. Get involved in your church, temple, [or] mosque. This is an ugly and dangerous time in our nation’s history. But to me, that is even more of a reason to get in the arena," she said.
"With so much at stake, now more than ever, I think we all need to engage in the political process. It is the only way we’re going to be able to turn our country around,” she added.
Jean-Pierre said she has been spurred into further action by the election of President Donald Trump.
She spoke to Shondaland about her daughter Soleil and what she would tell her about the current social and political climate.
"At that time, my daughter was two and the only president she knew was Obama, she’s even met him a few times. But when she’s 12, or whenever she learns about the president and wonders how this man got elected, she’s going to ask me, ‘What were you doing at the time?’"Jean-Pierre said.
“And I want her to know that I fought and worked for an organization that mobilized hundreds and thousands of people to do calls to actions and to get involved. I want her to know that I didn’t say silent,” she added.