Washington, D.C. (January 5, 2011) – The White House Office announced Wednesday that Tina Tchen has been promoted to Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the First Lady. Tchen replaces Susan Sher, who Obama said has return to her family and community in Chicago, after agreeing to the year-long position in January 2009.
“I am incredibly honored and humbled by this opportunity to serve the Administration in this new role, and to work with the First Lady and her team,” Tchen stated in a press release.
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.
“I am thrilled to welcome Tina to my team,” stated First Lady Michelle Obama. “I have admired her work with the White House Council on Women and Girls and her leadership with the Office of Public Engagement.
Mrs. Obama said that Tchen’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. She said Tchen has worked closely with her on many outreach efforts and was a natural choice for this new 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,” Obama added.
Tchen has known and worked with Mrs. Obama for the past 20 years. She turned to her as a team replacement with the right experience with leading the Office of Public Engagement.
“We will be building on the great strides already made to eliminate childhood obesity through the Let’s Move! Campaign, to support our military families, and to make the White House a place that reflects the rich culture and diversity of our country,” Tchen added.
The First Lady noted the two would also continue outreach work to make people across the country feel connected to the White House, along with continuing the arts and cultural events in the White House, and advancing their international agenda.
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, the Illinois Department of Public Aid and the Chicago Housing Authority.
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, noted that 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,” said Jarrett. “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.”