The American Presidency Project
John T. Woolley & Gerhard Peters • Santa Barbara, California return to original document
• Barack Obama
Press Release: President-Elect Barack Obama and Mrs. Michelle Obama Announce More Key White House Staff
November 24, 2008
WASHINGTON – President-elect Barack Obama and Mrs. Michelle Obama today announced the following White House staff: Desirée Rogers, Special Assistant to the President and White House Social Secretary; and Melissa Winter, Deputy Chief of Staff to the First Lady.

President-elect Obama said, "Today's announcement continues to build a team with the talent, commitment and experience to bring the change that we need to Washington. These accomplished individuals share our commitment to bringing people together to achieve results for the American people at this time of great national challenge."

The White House Staff Annoucements are below:

Desirée Rogers, Special Assistant to the President and White House Social Secretary:
Rogers is one of the most high profile executives in the Midwest and over the past 16 years has headed two major corporations. She is recognized as an innovative leader with a proven track record. Most recently, Rogers joined Allstate Financial as the President of Social Networking to develop an internet based community among the firm's 12 million households focused on financial discussions among everyday Americans. In 1997, Rogers joined Peoples Energy, a Chicago based natural gas company serving 2 million customers and became its utilities president in 2004. Prior to this, Rogers served as Director of the Illinois Lottery.

Rogers serves on the Board of Directors of Allstate Life Insurance Company, Equity Residential and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois. She is also Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of both the Lincoln Park Zoo and the Museum of Science and Industry, and is a member of the 2016 Olympic Cultural Committee.

Over the past few years, Rogers was named one of the "Top 25 Women to Watch" by Crain's Chicago Business (2007). She was also named one of the "Top 50 Most Powerful African American Business Women" (2006) and one of the "Top 75 Most Powerful Blacks in Corporate America" (2005) by Black Enterprise. Rogers earned a master of business administration from Harvard University and a bachelor of arts in political science from Wellesley College.

Melissa Winter, Deputy Chief of Staff to the First Lady
As Mrs. Michelle Obama's first hire on the Obama presidential campaign, Winter has served in several different capacities, most recently as Mrs. Obama's Traveling Chief of Staff. Winter was born in Chicago but her family later moved to La Jolla, California. After graduating from Skidmore College, she moved to Washington, D.C. and began an 18 year stint on Capitol Hill. She worked for Norman Y. Mineta (D-CA) for seven years as his Staff Assistant and then Executive Assistant before working for Senator Joseph I. Lieberman (I-CT). Winter was Senator Lieberman's Traveling Aide during his 2000 Vice Presidential run as well as his Director of Scheduling on his 2004 Presidential race. She also served as Senator Lieberman's Senate Executive Assistant. She will be returning to Washington, D.C. after spending the last 22 months in Chicago working for Mrs. Obama.

Citation: Barack Obama: "Press Release: President-Elect Barack Obama and Mrs. Michelle Obama Announce More Key White House Staff", November 24, 2008. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=66004.
 
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