HOUSTON (KIAH) — White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre will deliver the 2023 commencement address at Rice University on May 6, the university announced on Wednesday.
Jean-Pierre, a longtime advisor to President Joe Biden, is the first Black woman, the first openly gay woman and the first immigrant woman to be named White House press secretary.
“I am excited about hosting Karine in Houston and at Rice,” Rice University President Reginald DesRoches said in a statement. “Her message to our graduates will undoubtedly be inspiring, relevant and authentic.”
She worked on Biden’s and President Barack Obama’s campaigns, as well as chief public affairs for MoveOn and was a political analyst on MSNBC. She also was the regional political director for the White House Office of Political Affairs during the Obama administration.
“Like many of you, Karine has broken barriers to get where she is today,” DesRoches said to the Rice community. “This part of her story was especially attractive to me and to the members of the student committee who nominated her to be this year’s commencement speaker.
The commencement ceremonies of the Rice University Class of 2023 will take place at Rice Stadium on May 5-6. The exact time of Jean-Pierre’s speech will be announced at a later date.