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Desiree Rogers

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NEWS
March 22, 2009 | Mike Dorning
Desiree Rogers once made millionaires of a lucky few. Now she plans to give Americans dinner invitations to the White House. Rogers, a business executive and socialite -- and a former Illinois lottery director -- is turning again to Lady Luck in her role as social secretary for a White House that hopes to balance glamour, history and an urban sensibility with populism. "Something that we've talked about from early on is making it the people's house," said Rogers, sitting at a table in her East Wing office.
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NEWS
May 6, 2011 | By Katherine Skiba
Katie McCormick Lelyveld, press secretary to First Lady Michelle Obama, is leaving the post and returning home to Chicago, the White House announced Friday. McCormick Lelyveld, 32, said she will pursue a job in the private sector. She joined the first lady's staff in April 2007, her second campaign hire. McCormick Lelyveld is a graduate of the Latin School of Chicago, St. Ignatius College Prep and Georgetown University. During college she interned for First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and later worked on Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry’s unsuccessful presidential bid in 2004.
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NATIONAL
February 27, 2010 | By Katherine Skiba
Desiree Rogers, the White House's flamboyant social secretary who came under criticism after two uninvited guests crashed the Obamas' only state dinner, is stepping down, White House officials said Friday. A White House official said Julianna Smoot is the top candidate to succeed Rogers. A leading fundraiser during Barack Obama's presidential campaign, Smoot is chief of staff to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk. Rogers, 50, a longtime Chicago friend to President Obama and the first lady, was widely disparaged after a couple from Virginia made their way into the state dinner, held Nov. 24 in honor of the Indian prime minister.
NATIONAL
February 25, 2011 | By James Oliphant, Washington Bureau
President Obama's choice of Jeremy Bernard as the new White House social secretary Friday made history in multiple ways: Bernard is the first male and the first openly gay person to take over the event-planning role. Gay rights advocates hailed the appointment, which came in the same week the Obama administration decided it would no longer stand up in court for a law that defines marriage as between a man and woman. "We celebrate his appointment not merely because of the ground that he is breaking but because we know that he will serve the president and first lady exceptionally well," said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, a national organization.
NATIONAL
November 24, 2008 | TIMES WIRE REPORTS
Desiree Rogers, a prominent Chicago businesswoman and Harvard MBA, will be named White House social secretary, sources in the presidential transition office told the Washington Post. Rogers, 49, is a friend of President-elect Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, and is a leader in Chicago corporate and social circles. Her appointment signals that the Obamas consider the job crucial to how they introduce themselves to the nation and to the world. She was a major fundraiser for Obama, and has long been part of the Obamas' inner circle.
NEWS
February 25, 2011 | By James Oliphant, Washington Bureau
President Obama made history Friday by appointing the first male and first openly gay social secretary at the White House. Jeremy Bernard will join the White House staff from the U.S. Embassy in Paris and replaces Julianna Smoot. Bernard, a former Democratic fundraiser in Los Angeles, previously worked as the White House liaison to the National Endowment for the Humanities. As part of his role, he’ll coordinate state dinners and other White House events. “Jeremy shares our vision for the White House as the People’s House, one that celebrates our history and culture in dynamic and inclusive ways,” President Obama said in a statement.
NEWS
May 6, 2011 | By Katherine Skiba
Katie McCormick Lelyveld, press secretary to First Lady Michelle Obama, is leaving the post and returning home to Chicago, the White House announced Friday. McCormick Lelyveld, 32, said she will pursue a job in the private sector. She joined the first lady's staff in April 2007, her second campaign hire. McCormick Lelyveld is a graduate of the Latin School of Chicago, St. Ignatius College Prep and Georgetown University. During college she interned for First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and later worked on Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry’s unsuccessful presidential bid in 2004.
NATIONAL
November 27, 2008 | John McCormick, McCormick is a writer for the Chicago Tribune.
For those clamoring for invitations to future White House functions -- including Christmas parties and state dinners -- there will be few people more important than Desiree Rogers. The Chicago businesswoman will wield major clout for such events as the next White House social secretary, an appointment President-elect Barack Obama's transition office announced this week.
NATIONAL
December 3, 2009 | By Kathleen Hennessey
The White House said Wednesday that its staff "did not do everything" it could have to help secure the president at a state dinner last week -- the first public acknowledgment that it shared the blame for a pair of uninvited Virginia socialites attending the gala. "We can do more, and we will do more," Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina wrote in a memo circulated to the media. As the White House was issuing its mea culpa, it also was shielding the official in charge of the lavish event.
NATIONAL
May 20, 2010 | By Katherine Skiba, Tribune Newspapers
President Obama's second official state dinner mixed elegance with an extra helping of security as he and First Lady Michelle Obama saluted Mexican President Felipe Calderon and his wife, Margarita Zavala, Wednesday night. Among the 200 dinner guests were Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, actresses Whoopi Goldberg and Eva Longoria-Parker, comedian George Lopez and Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim. Longoria-Parker struck a political note in making her entrance, calling Arizona's new immigration law punitive.
NATIONAL
February 27, 2010 | By Katherine Skiba
Desiree Rogers, the White House's flamboyant social secretary who came under criticism after two uninvited guests crashed the Obamas' only state dinner, is stepping down, White House officials said Friday. A White House official said Julianna Smoot is the top candidate to succeed Rogers. A leading fundraiser during Barack Obama's presidential campaign, Smoot is chief of staff to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk. Rogers, 50, a longtime Chicago friend to President Obama and the first lady, was widely disparaged after a couple from Virginia made their way into the state dinner, held Nov. 24 in honor of the Indian prime minister.
NATIONAL
December 3, 2009 | By Kathleen Hennessey
The White House said Wednesday that its staff "did not do everything" it could have to help secure the president at a state dinner last week -- the first public acknowledgment that it shared the blame for a pair of uninvited Virginia socialites attending the gala. "We can do more, and we will do more," Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina wrote in a memo circulated to the media. As the White House was issuing its mea culpa, it also was shielding the official in charge of the lavish event.
NEWS
March 22, 2009 | Mike Dorning
Desiree Rogers once made millionaires of a lucky few. Now she plans to give Americans dinner invitations to the White House. Rogers, a business executive and socialite -- and a former Illinois lottery director -- is turning again to Lady Luck in her role as social secretary for a White House that hopes to balance glamour, history and an urban sensibility with populism. "Something that we've talked about from early on is making it the people's house," said Rogers, sitting at a table in her East Wing office.
NATIONAL
November 27, 2008 | John McCormick, McCormick is a writer for the Chicago Tribune.
For those clamoring for invitations to future White House functions -- including Christmas parties and state dinners -- there will be few people more important than Desiree Rogers. The Chicago businesswoman will wield major clout for such events as the next White House social secretary, an appointment President-elect Barack Obama's transition office announced this week.
NATIONAL
May 21, 2010 | By Kathleen Hennessey, Tribune Washington Bureau
Infamous party crashers Tareq and Michaele Salahi may not have finagled their way into Wednesday's state dinner, but they didn't exactly steer clear of the event either. The Virginia socialites were riding in a stretch limousine that was stopped by a uniformed Secret Service officer near the White House about 8 p.m., Secret Service spokesman Edwin Donovan said Thursday. The incident occurred as President Obama was toasting Mexican President Felipe Calderon at the White House's second state dinner.
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