Haitian-American Karine Jean-Pierre is a political campaign organizer, activist, political commentator, and lecturer in international and public affairs at Columbia University. She is the Senior Advisor and National Spokesman for MoveOn.org. The former Obama aide is an inspiring story of growing up in a family that moved to America to give her a better life and ending up on the forefront of U.S. politics. You can find Karine Jean-Pierre as a political commentator on Fox News, Fox Business, MSNBC, CNN, CSPAN, PBS News Hour.
Jean-Pierre who was named one of The Advocate’s 2011 Forty under 40, first started working for President Barack Obama in 2008 as the southern regional political director in his Chicago headquarters and ultimately became the national deputy battleground states director for the President’s re-election campaign. She served as a regional political director at the White House Office of Political Affairs and as White House liaison at the U.S. Department of Labor.
“I give credit to my parents. They are Haitian and immigrated to America. My dad is 70 but still drives a cab, my mom is home health care worker. They came from a country that is impoverished but left to get a better life for their kids. For them, they are so proud of me, and they feel they have reached their dream because of my successes, but without them I wouldn’t be where I am. They told me I could be whatever I wanted to be, do whatever I wanted to do.
I remember in junior high school one of my counselors told me I should be a nurse not a doctor. When I told my mom that she was very angry and told me not to listen to anyone who told me not to live my dream. They believe in me, and I wouldn’t be where I am without the sacrifices they made to make sure I went to private school and college and grad school. The American dream has come true for them, they’ve gotten to meet the President and First Lady through my work, and it is great to give that to them. – Source
Karine Jean-Pierre’s professional experience has ranged widely from presidential campaigns to grassroots activism, to local politics, to working in the White House. Jean-Pierre is the Senior Advisor and National Spokesman for 2016 Elections at MoveOn.org. Jean-Pierre previously served as the Deputy Campaign Manager for Martin O’Malley for President, in addition to lecturing at SIPA.
Prior to joining the O’Malley Campaign. In 2014 she was the Campaign Manager for ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Initiate (RFI). Previously, she managed Tish James’ successful campaign for New York City Public Advocate.
In 2011, Jean-Pierre served as Deputy Battleground States Director for President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, managing the President’s political engagement in key states while leading the delegate selection and ballot access process.
Before joining the re-election campaign, Jean-Pierre served as the Regional Political Director for the White House Office of Political Affairs. Prior to joining the Obama Administration, she worked on the Obama for America campaign in 2008 as the Southeast Regional Political Director; she served the John Edwards for President Campaign in the same capacity.
Jean-Pierre’s interests demonstrate her concern for integrity and the human condition. In graduate school, she explored her Haitian roots through documentary film. Later, she worked at the Center for Community and Corporate Ethics and pushed major companies like Wal-Mart to change their business practices. While working in New York, Jean-Pierre served as Press Secretary to Congressmen Anthony Weiner, Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of Legislative and Budget Affairs for two City Council Members respectively in the New York City Council.
Jean-Pierre joined the Columbia University faculty in 2014; she received her MPA from Columbia University’s SIPA in 2003. Jean-Pierre has appeared as a political commentator on Fox News, Fox Business, MSNBC, CNN, CSPAN, PBS News Hour.