President-elect Obama has picked a close friend of his and wife Michelle Obama to serve as White House Social Secretary. Desiree Rogers, a Chicago businesswoman, will be in charge of the President-elect’s social calendar and events and ceremonies at the White House. She will make history as the first Black American to hold the coveted position.
Rogers is an accomplished businesswoman in her own right. The 49 year old is the former president of Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas. She is on the Board of Trustees of Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo and the Museum of Science and Industry. A former director of the Illinois Library, Rogers is part of the team that is working to bring the 2016 Olympics to Chicago. She has an MBA from Harvard University and was once married to financier John Rogers, head of Ariel Capital Management. Rogers has a teenage daughter who is a student at Yale University. Ms. Rogers is also close to Obama confidant Valerie Jarrett, who will serve as senior adviser to the President.
The appointment of Rogers further embeds the Windy City in the Obama White House. It also reflects another byproduct of Mr. Obama’s victory; the emergence of a new Black intelligentsia that will have a major impact upon the direction of the nation. In her role as Social Secretary, Rogers will determine the style and feel of the nation’s most famous residence as she controls cultural events, formal state dinners and other ceremonies that routinely take place at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Much as the Kennedys shaped the nation’s culture during Camelot, the Obamas have an opportunity to put a unique stamp on the White House that could influence popular culture in the same way as occurred during President Kennedy’s tenure