The White House announced today that at the end of January, I will join the East Wing as Chief of Staff to First Lady Michelle Obama. 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. 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.
I am also pleased that in addition to my new role as Chief of Staff to the First Lady, I will continue to serve as the Executive Director of the White House Council of Women and Girls, and in that capacity will continue to work with Valerie Jarrett, the Chair of the Council, along with Jenny Kaplan, the Deputy Director of the Council, and all of the federal agencies and White House offices that comprise the Council. Since the Council was formed by the President in March 2009, we have been able to advance the interests of women and girls throughout the federal government and address key areas such as improving the economic security of women and their families; combating violence against women and girls; making workplaces more flexible to be more competitive in the 21st century; and including women and girls as we expand our investments in science, technology, engineering and math. Support for women and girls is an integral part of the First Lady’s work, and I look forward to continuing to work with the many leaders, advocates and organizations throughout the world who share the Administration’s steadfast commitment to addressing the concerns of women and girls.
As I move to the East Wing, I will take with me the lessons I have learned the past two years as Director of the Office of Public Engagement. Our charge from the President last year, when he changed the name of the office from the Office of the Public Liaison to the Office of Public Engagement, was to reach out to people across the country, from grass tops to grass roots and on issues from health care to the economy to education to the environment and beyond. We have done that, and used a wide range of tools, from calls to emails to meetings here at the White House, to our work with our new media team to bring the work of the Administration to groups and individuals, and to bring your thoughts and input back to the White House. I want to thank the team at OPE for their tremendous and tireless dedication to this mission. And I also want to thank the many individuals and organizations who have been engaged with the White House over the last two years. It has been a distinct pleasure to get to know all of you, and to work with you to serve our country.
The new year is a time for new beginnings, and I am thrilled that for me, it is an opportunity to take on a new and exciting role here at the White House and support the First Lady’s incredible initiatives in the years ahead.
Tina Tchen is Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement and Executive Director of the Council on Women and Girls