Chicago Sun-Times
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Michelle Obama staff change: Chicago's Susan Sher new First Lady chief of staff


WASHINGTON--First Lady Michelle Obama tapped pal Susan Sher to be her new chief of staff, replacing Jackie Norris, who came to know the first lady during the critical Iowa caucus campaign.

Sher has a special place in the Obama history--Mrs. Obama's resume hit her desk when she was working at Chicago's City Hall for Mayor Daley and she passed it on to Valerie Jarrett, who ended up hiring her at the Hall after dinner with her fiance--one Barack Obama.

Sher was already at the White House functing as a legal counsel in the East and West wings and as liasion to the Jewish community. In Washington, she lives in the same Georgetown building as Jarrett and White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers, also a Chicago buddy.


Office of the Press Secretary


June 4, 2009


Jackie Norris to Senior Advisor to Corporation for National and Community Service, Susan Sher to Chief of Staff to First Lady Michelle Obama

WASHINGTON, DC - The White House announced today that the First Lady's Chief of Staff Jackie Norris has been appointed as Senior Advisor to the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). Susan Sher, a longtime colleague and friend of the First Lady's, has been promoted to Chief of Staff. The First Lady, Mrs. Norris and Ms. Sher all released statements on the moves, included below:

Statement from Mrs. Obama:

Jackie Norris has been a colleague and friend since the earliest days of the Iowa campaign. She has built a strong organization in the East Wing and made tremendous progress on issues that are important to me and the President, particularly in the area of national service. In assuming the role as Senior Advisor to the Corporation for National and Community Service, Jackie will work closely with my office and the Administration as we move forward to implement the new Serve America Act and we will continue to count on Jackie's leadership and passion for this cause.

Susan Sher is a trusted advisor, longtime mentor and friend dating back to my work at the City of Chicago and later the University of Chicago. Since the beginning of this Administration, Susan has served as a senior member of the East Wing and West Wing teams providing legal counsel, working as a member of the health care reform task force and leading Jewish outreach, and her transition to chief of staff will be seamless.

Statement from Jackie Norris:

I am grateful to President and Mrs. Obama for the opportunities and friendship they have given me over the last few years and I am looking forward to becoming an integral part of this Administration's efforts to advance the cause of national and community service.

Statement from Susan Sher:

Mrs. Obama and I have worked together for many years on issues that we both care deeply about and I appreciate the opportunity to be of greater service to her and this Administration.


I think we need it most in times of recession.Financial crisis affect the health of people so it does bring impact to the concern of government.The financial crisis has taught us a lot. One of the things the financial crisis has taught us is that even giants can fall, and even though he lives down the street, the local banker cares more for a balance sheet than anyone's household. It's been a terrifying ride, and hopefully the whole thing will be back up faster than the fastest rapid payday loans. The financial crunch has put a hurting on many industries and millions of people, and the lessons to be learned for the future are legion. There are now record numbers of people running for payday loans because of unreliable banks during the financial crisis.

Maybe Norris was responsible for the egregiously tone-deaf nomination of a Nike person to head the Corporation for National and Community Service -
from YOUTHtoday: "Pablo Eisenberg, a senior fellow at the Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership in Georgetown University’s Public Policy Institute, called her selection “shocking,” particularly because of her lack of major management experience. “It’s a very poor appointment that flies in the face of labor support for Obama,” said Eisenberg..." The Nike woman has recently bowed out, citing personal health issues

I can't imagine anyone wanting to work for Mrs (Miserable) Obama. I bet this one will move on soon. 1-20-13 can't come soon enough.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on June 4, 2009 3:53 PM.

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