Christina M. "Tina" Tchen (simplified Chinese: 陈远美 ; traditional Chinese: 陳遠美 , pinyin: Chén Yuǎnměi) (born January 25, 1956) is an American lawyer. From 2011 until 2017, she served as Assistant to President Barack Obama; Chief of Staff to First Lady Michelle Obama; and Executive Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls. From the date of Obama's inauguration until January 5, 2011, she was the Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, previously known as the Office of Public Liaison.
Early life and education [ edit ]
Tchen was born in the U.S. to Chinese immigrants who fled the People's Republic of China in 1949. Her father worked as a psychiatrist and her mother as a scientist. She grew up in Beachwood, Ohio where she graduated from Beachwood High School. She has known Amy Rule, Rahm Emanuel's wife, since they were teenagers together in suburban Cleveland.
She graduated from Radcliffe College of Harvard University in 1978, and received her law degree in 1984 from Northwestern University School of Law.
Career experience [ edit ]
After graduation from Radcliffe, Tchen worked for several years for the Illinois Bureau of the Budget where she served as the Governor's budget analyst for the Department of Children and Family Services. She then went to law school, and after graduation went to work as an associate attorney for the Chicago office of the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.
Tchen worked at Skadden for 25 years where she specialized in litigation at all levels of the state and federal courts. She represented companies, officers and directors in shareholder class and derivative actions. She also handled a wide range of commercial, intellectual property, and employment-related litigation, and represented public agencies in state and federal class actions, including the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, the Illinois Department of Public Aid and the Chicago Housing Authority. She was a partner at Skadden for 13 years before her appointment to the Obama administration.
In March 2019, Tina Tchen was hired to investigate the Southern Poverty Law Center's "workplace culture" after allegations of sexual and racial harrassment led to the firing of the SPLC's co-founder and resignation of its president.
Dismissal of charges against Jussie Smollett [ edit ]
Tchen contacted Chicago State Attorney Kim Foxx about Actor Jussie Smollet a week before 16 felony charges against him were unexpectedly dropped. Smollet had claimed to have been the victim of an assault by two white males who allegedly beat him, doused him with bleach and placed a noose around his neck. He claimed they shouted racist and homophobic slurs and wore hats supporting President Donald J. Trump. After a thorough investigation by the Chicago Police Department, evidence showed that Smolett had hired two Nigerian brothers with whom he worked to stage the "assault" and paid them $3500.00 by check. The brothers testified before a Grand Jury which returned a 16 felony count indictment against Smollet charging him with, among other things, false reports to law enforcement.
Tchen's contact with Foxx and the subsequent decision to drop the charges against actor Jussie Smollett has led the Fraternal Order of Police in Chicago to request a formal investigation into abuse of power in failing to pursue charges in the Smollett case.
Community and professional service [ edit ]
Tchen has served on several boards for organizations involved in public, legal and social policy: the Chicago Bar Association Foundation; the Field Foundation of Illinois (chair of the board); the Chicago Public Library (trustee); and the Chinese American Service League (board member).
Tchen has served on the Judicial Nominations Commission for the Northern District of Illinois and has served in several leadership positions with the American Bar Association Litigation Section.
Awards [ edit ]
Tchen is the recipient of a number of awards recognizing her contributions in the legal field: Leadership Award from the Women's Bar Association of Illinois (1999); "Women of Achievement" award from the Anti-Defamation League (1996); and Chicago Lawyer (Magazine) "Person of the Year" (1994). She was selected for inclusion in Chambers USA guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2008) and The Best Lawyers in America (2009). She also was selected in 2007 as one of the top three women business lawyers in Illinois by the Leading Lawyers Network. In 2011, she was honored with the Harvard College Women's Leadership Professional Achievement Award.
Political donations [ edit ]
Tchen made 13 donations totaling $7,850 to various Democratic political campaigns in 2008. She was also an early supporter of Barack Obama's run for the U.S. presidency, and was an effective fundraiser for his campaign.
References [ edit ]
- ^ a b Skiba, Katherine (2011-01-06). "Michelle Obama's new chief of staff 'energetic' and 'driven ' ". Chicago, IL: Chicago Tribune . Retrieved 2011-09-15 .
- ^ "Tina Tchen to become Michelle Obama's Chief of Staff". Washington, DC: Asian American Action Fund. 2011-01-05 . Retrieved 2011-01-05 .
- ^ a b "Tina Tchen to Join Office of the First Lady as Chief of Staff". Washington, DC: The White House Office of the First Lady. 2011-01-05 . Retrieved 2011-01-05 .
- ^ "Council on Women and Girls: Leadership". Washington, DC: The White House Council on Women and Girls. 2009-10-01. Archived from the original on 2011-10-01 . Retrieved 2011-09-15 .
- ^ "Engagement, Women, Health Care, and Yarn". Washington, DC: The White House Office of Public Engagement. 2009-05-18 . Retrieved 2011-09-15 .
- ^ a b c d Who Runs Gov. "Profiles: Christina M. Tchen" Archived 2009-08-20 at the Wayback Machine, WhoRunsGov.com, accessed August 2, 2009.
- ^ "Amy Rule: Chicago's reluctant first lady". Chicago Tribune. 2012-07-02.
- ^ "Christina M. Tchen". Washington Post. 2012-11-16 . Retrieved 2018-11-13 .
- ^ Burch, Audra D. S.; Blinder, Alan; Eligon, John (2019-03-25). "Roiled by Staff Uproar, Civil Rights Group Looks at Intolerance Within". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331 . Retrieved 2019-03-27 .
- ^ "State's Attorney Kim Foxx's texts and emails". Chicago Tribune. 2019-03-13 . Retrieved 2019-03-26 .
- ^ "CHRISTINA M. TCHEN". Washington, DC: The White House Office of Public Engagement. 2009-08-31. Archived from the original on 2011-09-04 . Retrieved 2011-09-15 .
- ^ "President-elect Obama announces more key White House staff" Archived 2008-12-06 at the Wayback Machine, change.gov
- ^ "Harvard College Women's Center - Women's Leadership Awards" Archived 2012-07-11 at Archive.today, http://hcwc.fas.harvard.edu
- ^ Political Campaign Contributions , "Christina Tchen." Note: The dollar amount given on the main webpage is cumulative. To view the annual contributions, click on the individual links on the main page.
External links [ edit ]
| Office|| Name|| Term|| Office|| Name|| Term|
| White House Chief of Staff|| Rahm Emanuel|| 2009–10|| National Security Advisor|| James L. Jones|| 2009–10|
| Pete Rouse|| 2010–11|| Thomas E. Donilon|| 2010–13|
| William M. Daley|| 2011–12|| Susan Rice|| 2013–17|
| Jack Lew|| 2012–13|| Deputy National Security Advisor|| Thomas E. Donilon|| 2009–10|
| Denis McDonough|| 2013–17|| Denis McDonough|| 2010–13|
| White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy|| Mona Sutphen|| 2009–11|| Tony Blinken|| 2013–14|
| Nancy-Ann DeParle|| 2011–13|| Avril Haines|| 2015–17|
| Rob Nabors|| 2013–15|| Dep. National Security Advisor, Homeland Security|| John O. Brennan|| 2009–13|
| White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations|| Jim Messina|| 2009–11|| Lisa Monaco|| 2013–17|
| Alyssa Mastromonaco|| 2011–14|| Dep. National Security Advisor, Iraq and Afghanistan|| Douglas Lute†|| 2009–13|
| Anita Decker Breckenridge|| 2014–17|| Dep. National Security Advisor, Strategic Comm.|| Ben Rhodes|| 2009–17|
| White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Planning|| Mark B. Childress|| 2012–14|| Dep. National Security Advisor, Chief of Staff|| Mark Lippert|| 2009|
| Kristie Canegallo|| 2014–17|| Denis McDonough|| 2009–10|
| Counselor to the President|| Pete Rouse|| 2011–13|| Brooke D. Anderson|| 2011–12|
| John Podesta|| 2014–15|| White House Communications Director|| Ellen Moran|| 2009|
| Senior Advisor to the President|| David Axelrod|| 2009–11|| Anita Dunn|| 2009|
| David Plouffe|| 2011–13|| Daniel Pfeiffer|| 2009–13|
| Daniel Pfeiffer|| 2013–15|| Jennifer Palmieri|| 2013–15|
| Shailagh Murray|| 2015–17|| Jen Psaki|| 2015–17|
| Senior Advisor to the President|| Pete Rouse|| 2009–10|| Deputy White House Communications Director|| Jen Psaki|| 2009–11|
| Brian Deese|| 2015–17|| Jennifer Palmieri|| 2011–14|
| Senior Advisor to the President and|| Valerie Jarrett|| 2009–17|| Amy Brundage|| 2014–16|
| Assistant to the President for|| Liz Allen|| 2016–17|
| Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs|| White House Press Secretary|| Robert Gibbs|| 2009–11|
| Director, Public Engagement|| Tina Tchen|| 2009–11|| Jay Carney|| 2011–13|
| Jon Carson|| 2011–13|| Josh Earnest|| 2013–17|
| Paulette L. Aniskoff|| 2013–17|| Deputy Press Secretary|| Bill Burton|| 2009–11|
| Director, Intergovernmental Affairs|| Cecilia Muñoz|| 2009–12|| Josh Earnest|| 2011–13|
| David Agnew|| 2012–14|| Eric Schultz|| 2014–17|
| Jerry Abramson|| 2014–17|| Director of Special Projects|| Stephanie Cutter|| 2010–11|
| Director, National Economic Council|| Lawrence Summers|| 2009–10|| Director, Speechwriting|| Jon Favreau|| 2009–13|
| Gene Sperling|| 2011–14|| Cody Keenan|| 2013–17|
| Jeffrey Zients|| 2014–17|| Director, Digital Strategy|| Macon Phillips|| 2009–13|
| Chair, Council of Economic Advisers|| Christina Romer|| 2009–10|| Chief Digital Officer|| Jason Goldman|| 2015–17|
| Austan Goolsbee|| 2010–13|| Director, Legislative Affairs|| Phil Schiliro|| 2009–11|
| Jason Furman|| 2013–17|| Rob Nabors|| 2011–13|
| Chair, Economic Recovery Advisory Board|| Paul Volcker|| 2009–11|| Katie Beirne Fallon|| 2013–16|
| Chair, Council on Jobs and Competitiveness|| Jeff Immelt|| 2011–13|| Miguel Rodriguez|| 2016|
| Director, Domestic Policy Council|| Melody Barnes|| 2009–12|| Amy Rosenbaum|| 2016–17|
| Cecilia Muñoz|| 2012–17|| Director, Political Affairs|| Patrick Gaspard|| 2009–11|
| Director, Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships|| Joshua DuBois|| 2009–13|| David Simas|| 2014–17|
| Melissa Rogers|| 2013–17|| Director, Presidential Personnel|| Nancy Hogan|| 2009–13|
| Director, Office of Health Reform|| Nancy-Ann DeParle|| 2009–11|| Johnathan D. McBride|| 2013–14|
| Director, Office of National AIDS Policy|| Jeffrey Crowley|| 2009–11|| Valerie E. Green|| 2014–15|
| Grant N. Colfax|| 2011–13|| Rodin A. Mehrbani|| 2016–17|
| Douglas M. Brooks|| 2013–17|| White House Staff Secretary|| Lisa Brown|| 2009–11|
| Director, Office of Urban Affairs|| Adolfo Carrión Jr.|| 2009–10|| Rajesh De|| 2011–12|
| Racquel S. Russell|| 2010–14|| Douglas Kramer|| 2012–13|
| Roy Austin Jr.|| 2014–17|| Joani Walsh|| 2014–17|
| Director, Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy|| Carol Browner|| 2009–11|| Director, Management and Administration|| Bradley J. Kiley|| 2009–11|
| White House Counsel|| Greg Craig|| 2009–10|| Katy A. Kale|| 2011–15|
| Bob Bauer|| 2010–11|| Maju S. Varghese|| 2016–17|
| Kathryn Ruemmler|| 2011–14|| Director, Scheduling and Advance|| Alyssa Mastromonaco|| 2009–11|
| Neil Eggleston|| 2014–17|| Danielle Crutchfield|| 2011–14|
| White House Cabinet Secretary|| Chris Lu|| 2009–13|| Chase Cushman|| 2014–17|
| Danielle C. Gray|| 2013–14|| Director, White House Information Technology|| David Recordon|| 2015–17|
| Broderick D. Johnson|| 2014–17|| Director, Office of Administration|| Cameron Moody|| 2009–11|
| Personal Aide to the President|| Reggie Love|| 2009–11|| Beth Jones|| 2011–15|
| Brian Mosteller|| 2011–12|| Cathy Solomon|| 2015–17|
| Marvin D. Nicholson|| 2012–17|| Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy|| John Holdren|| 2009–17|
| Director, Oval Office Operations|| Brian Mosteller|| 2012–17|| Chief Technology Officer|| Aneesh Chopra|| 2009–12|
| Personal Secretary to the President|| Katie Johnson|| 2009–11|| Todd Park|| 2012–14|
| Anita Decker Breckenridge|| 2011–14|| Megan Smith|| 2014–17|
| Ferial Govashiri|| 2014–17|| Director, Office of Management and Budget|| Peter R. Orszag|| 2009–10|
| Chief of Staff to the First Lady|| Jackie Norris|| 2009|| Jack Lew|| 2010–12|
| Susan Sher|| 2009–11|| Jeffrey Zients|| 2012–13|
| Tina Tchen|| 2011–17|| Sylvia Mathews Burwell|| 2013–14|
| White House Social Secretary|| Desirée Rogers|| 2009–10|| Brian Deese|| 2014|
| Julianna Smoot|| 2010–11|| Shaun Donovan|| 2014–17|
| Jeremy Bernard|| 2011–15|| Chief Information Officer|| Vivek Kundra|| 2009–11|
| Deesha Dyer|| 2015–17|| Steven VanRoekel|| 2011–14|
| Chief of Staff to the Vice President|| Ron Klain|| 2009–11|| Tony Scott|| 2015–17|
| Bruce Reed|| 2011–13|| United States Trade Representative|| Ron Kirk|| 2009–13|
| Steve Ricchetti|| 2013–17|| Michael Froman|| 2013–17|
| White House Chief Usher|| Stephen W. Rochon†|| 2009–11|| Director, Office of National Drug Control Policy|| Gil Kerlikowske|| 2009–14|
| Angella Reid|| 2011–17|| Michael Botticelli|| 2014–17|
| Director, White House Military Office|| George Mulligan|| 2009–13|| Chair, Council on Environmental Quality|| Nancy Sutley|| 2009–14|
| Emmett Beliveau|| 2013–15|| Michael Boots|| 2014–15|
| Dabney Kern|| 2016–17|| Christy Goldfuss|| 2015–17|
| Position|| Appointee|
| Chief of Staff to the Vice President|| Steve Ricchetti|
| Counsel to the Vice President|| Cynthia Hogan|
| Counselor to the Vice President|| Mike Donilon|
| Assistant to the Vice President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Liaison|| Evan Ryan|
| Assistant to the Vice President and Director of Communications|| Shailagh Murray|
| Deputy Chief of Staff to the Vice President|| Shailagh Murray|
| Deputy National Security Adviser to the Vice President|| Brian McKeon|
| Residence Manager and Social Secretary for the Vice President and Second Lady|| Carlos Elizondo|
| National Security Adviser to the Vice President|| Colin Kahl|