Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 12:22 PM ET, 01/ 5/2011

Tina Tchen announced as Michelle Obama's new chief of staff

By Nia-Malika Henderson

It's official --first lady Michelle Obama has a new chief of staff, the White House announced Wednesday.

Tina Tchen, who Obama has known for two decades, will replace Susan Sher in leading Obama's East Wing staff. In her previous White House role, Tchen worked as the director of the Office of Public Engagement and headed the Council on Women and Girls, a role that she will keep.

"Tina's tenure at the White House has focused on ensuring that communities across the country have a voice and a presence at the White House, and her office has worked closely with mine to develop many of our outreach efforts, so she was the natural choice for this role," Michelle Obama said in a statement. "We particularly share a commitment to nurturing young women and utilizing the White House as a platform for education and inclusion, and I look forward to continuing that work together. Tina's success leading the Office of Public Engagement, reaching out to people across the country and encouraging Americans from all walks of life to feel connected to this White House, makes her uniquely qualified to step up to this position. I look forward to working with her in the years ahead to develop effective strategies for the Let's Move! campaign, to broaden our work on behalf of military families, to continue the arts and cultural events in the White House, and to advance our international agenda."

The addition of Tchen means that the first lady has two new staffers in top posts--Kristina Schake began her tenure as communications director last month.

In the coming weeks, Obama is expected to roll out a program focused on military families and continue her work in combating childhood obesity. Sher is expected to stay on during the transition period for a few weeks.

Read the full White House announcement after the jump.

The White House today announced that Tina Tchen has been promoted to Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the First Lady. Ms. Tchen most recently served as Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Public Engagement, and as Executive Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls. She will continue to serve as Executive Director of the Council in her new position.

Statement from Mrs. Obama:

"I am thrilled to welcome Tina to my team. I have admired her work with the White House Council on Women and Girls and her leadership with the Office of Public Engagement. Tina's tenure at the White House has focused on ensuring that communities across the country have a voice and a presence at the White House, and her office has worked closely with mine to develop many of our outreach efforts, so she was the natural choice for this role. We particularly share a commitment to nurturing young women and utilizing the White House as a platform for education and inclusion, and I look forward to continuing that work together.

"As sad as I am to see Susan go, I always knew she would return to her family and her community in Chicago. She arrived here in January of 2009 intending only to stay for a year and her extended tenure as my Chief of Staff has been a gift. She has led my team with an even hand and a clear vision and I am so grateful to her and her family for her time here in Washington.

"When selecting a replacement, I looked for someone who had the right experience to lead my team and am grateful to bring on Tina, whom I've known and respected for 20 years. Tina's success leading the Office of Public Engagement, reaching out to people across the country and encouraging Americans from all walks of life to feel connected to this White House, makes her uniquely qualified to step up to this position. I look forward to working with her in the years ahead to develop effective strategies for the Let's Move! campaign, to broaden our work on behalf of military families, to continue the arts and cultural events in the White House, and to advance our international agenda."

Valerie Jarrett, Chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls, and Senior Adviser and Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement said, "Tina has been an incredible asset as the Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement and the Executive Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls. As the President said at the Council's formation in the spring of 2009, the issues facing women today are not just women's issues. When women are treated unfairly, that affects our families, our work environments and the next generation of young women. Throughout her career, Tina has been a tireless advocate for women and families, and she brought that wealth of experience and dedication to the White House Council's efforts. She will bring her leadership, wisdom and passion to her new position and continue to have a substantial impact on the issues affecting America's women and girls."

Ms. Tchen began her work for the President and First Lady during the 2008 campaign. Prior to this service, Ms. Tchen was a partner at the Chicago office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, where she worked for 23 years in corporate litigation, representing public agencies including the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS), the Illinois Department of Public Aid and the Chicago Housing Authority.

By Nia-Malika Henderson  | January 5, 2011; 12:22 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Allen West becomes first Republican since 1990s to join Congressional Black Caucus
Next: 10 Boehner siblings attend swearing-in

Comments

I am worried that some of the articles posted violate the rule governing commentaries and yet they are not removed. Some are so full of hatred, bitterness and discrimination that I begin to wonder whether Americans who indulge in writing these things ever sit down to think of the ridicule they bring to the country. The rest of the world sees America as a great country. The US President, irrespective of the incumbent, is said to be the most powerful man in the world, why? Because he is president of the United States. Yet some Americans choose to ridicule Obama or his wife at every opportunity. What these people are doing is not to Obama or Michelle but against what/who they represent-AMERICA. So don't blame anyone if Obama goes out there and he is not making waves. It is partly due to what the internal poltitics of hatred/bitterness is costing all of us. I beg WP to do some of us the favor of removing promptly(as promised)hateful commentaries because all they do is to add to the already polluted air.

Posted by: easter193 | January 5, 2011 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Chief of Staff?????? More waste. More imperial insanity. Vacations in Spain, flying the family dog on a separate plan to Maine. I am sick of the Obamas acting like royalty and wasting our money.

Posted by: eaglesnest1 | January 5, 2011 11:02 PM | Report abuse

It is tempting to agree with critics of Michelle Obama that she has not been able to find someone experienced and competent enough to help her run the White House. One gets the impression that both the president and the first lady are not experienced enough themselves to make good choices. One's friends are not always going to be able to meet the huge challenges they face especially because both want so badly to be inclusive and "politically correct". Give them another two years..maybe they will get it right.

Posted by: thinker12 | January 5, 2011 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Like, who cares? Who elected M.O., and to what office?

Posted by: jfgerald | January 5, 2011 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Isn't this her third chief of staff? Must be a difficult job.

Posted by: forgetthis | January 5, 2011 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Michelle's travel arrangements have been in total disarray, and she sorely needs this new help.

She's only been able to go on 23 vacations and 2012 is breathing down her hairy neck.

Posted by: Libtard_Ride_Free | January 5, 2011 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Another Government job we could do without in an effort to get our $14T in debt under some kind of control...these folks don't get it...you have to trim everything out...NO WASTE! I see this and its like, bankruptcy here we come...glad I saved so my dollars will be worthless....

Posted by: mjandrews8 | January 5, 2011 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Folks - Laura Bush had 27 on the payroll. All modern First Ladies have staff. Please get your facts straight before you start calling them the 'dumbos'. Look in the mirror first!

Posted by: mcmantis1 | January 5, 2011 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Who cares? Mooch elle has an army of servants. She needs to get rid of about twenty of them to get in line with other first ladies.
She doesn't deserve any special private army of serfs, even though she thinks she's a queen.
All she is is a leech, like her incompetent slug of a husband, Odumbo.

Posted by: LarryG62 | January 5, 2011 1:44 PM | Report abuse

What does the First Lady need with a "Chief of
Staff?" All other First Ladies have not had more than one or two assistants of any kind.

Who does the First Lady think she is impressing? What is her total budget for the staff she has employed? Does anyone feel she should be clued in as to the poor economy this nation is now experiencing?

Posted by: sseney | January 5, 2011 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company