Tina Tchen - Wikipedia

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.[2][3][4] 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.[3][5]

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.[6] 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.[7] She graduated from Radcliffe College of Harvard University in 1978,[1] 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.[6]

Tchen worked at Skadden for 25 years[8] 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.[6]

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.[9]

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. [10]

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).[11]

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.[12] In 2011, she was honored with the Harvard College Women's Leadership Professional Achievement Award.[13]

Political donations [ edit ]

Tchen made 13 donations totaling $7,850 to various Democratic political campaigns in 2008.[14] She was also an early supporter of Barack Obama's run for the U.S. presidency, and was an effective fundraiser for his campaign.[6]

References [ edit ]

  1. ^ 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 .
  2. ^ "Tina Tchen to become Michelle Obama's Chief of Staff". Washington, DC: Asian American Action Fund. 2011-01-05 . Retrieved 2011-01-05 .
  3. ^ 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 .
  4. ^ "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 .
  5. ^ "Engagement, Women, Health Care, and Yarn". Washington, DC: The White House Office of Public Engagement. 2009-05-18 . Retrieved 2011-09-15 .
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ "Amy Rule: Chicago's reluctant first lady". Chicago Tribune. 2012-07-02.
  8. ^ "Christina M. Tchen". Washington Post. 2012-11-16 . Retrieved 2018-11-13 .
  9. ^ 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 .
  10. ^ "State's Attorney Kim Foxx's texts and emails". Chicago Tribune. 2019-03-13 . Retrieved 2019-03-26 .
  11. ^ "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 .
  12. ^ "President-elect Obama announces more key White House staff" Archived 2008-12-06 at the Wayback Machine, change.gov
  13. ^ "Harvard College Women's Center - Women's Leadership Awards" Archived 2012-07-11 at Archive.today, http://hcwc.fas.harvard.edu
  14. ^ Political Campaign Contributions [1], "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