President elect Barack Obama has been making many appointments to his upcoming administration. One of those appointments is Desiree Rogers.
Friend of The Obamas To Be Social Secretary
Naming of Rogers Will Raise Profile of White House Post
By Lois Romano
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, November 24, 2008
Desirée Rogers, a prominent Chicago businesswoman and Harvard MBA, will be named the first African American White House social secretary, sources in the presidential transition office said yesterday.
Rogers, 49, is a friend of Michelle and President-elect Barack Obama’s, and a leader in Chicago corporate and civic circles; her appointment signals that the first couple consider the job crucial to how they introduce themselves to the country and the globe. She was a major fundraiser for Obama.
“This appointment sends a strong message that the Obamas want to use the White House strategically, to maximize its use in a way that is consistent with their philosophy — [to] open it to a broader range of people, ” said Valerie Jarrett, an Obama intimate and friend of Rogers’s who also will work in the White House. “Desirée is a heavy hitter — she comes with her own range of contacts from around the country. She’s close to Michelle and she knows everyone who will be working in the West Wing, so she will be able to create a synergy.”
The position of social secretary is more influential and far-reaching than the title might suggest. Although the job is associated with working with the first lady and with entertaining — and best known for staging state dinners for heads of countries — the social secretary’s office is responsible for every event or ceremony that occurs in the White House or on the grounds. The day after the inauguration, for example, Rogers will be responsible for organizing the swearing-in of the Cabinet. Ann Stock, a social secretary in the Clinton White House, was once charged with pulling together the signing of the historic Mideast peace agreement in four days, for 4,000 guests.
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