About Intergovernmental Affairs

"It is a priority of my Administration to make sure that the doors of this White House are open to all of our citizens, and that our government is open and honest and that the American people are heard." – President Barack Obama


Select a staff member to learn more:

 
Valerie Jarrett
Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement

Valerie B. Jarrett is a Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama. She is also the Chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls and she oversees the Offices of Intergovernmental Affairs; Public Engagement; and Olympic, Paralympic, and Youth Sport.

Prior to joining the Obama Administration, she was the Chief Executive Officer of The Habitat Company. She also served as Co-Chair of the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team, and Senior Advisor to Obama's presidential campaign.

Prior to that, Ms. Jarrett has held positions in both the public and private sector, including the Chairman of the Chicago Transit Board, the Commissioner of Planning and Development for the City of Chicago, Deputy Chief of Staff for Mayor Richard M. Daley, and Deputy Corporation Council for Finance and Development. She also practiced law with two private law firms.

Jarrett also served as a director of corporate and not for profit boards, including Chairman of the Board of the Chicago Stock Exchange, Director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Chairman of the University of Chicago Medical Center Board of Trustees, and Vice Chair of the University of Chicago Board of Trustees. She was a Director of the Local Initiative Support Corporation, The Joyce Foundation, and a Trustee of the Museum of Science and Industry.

Jarrett received her B.A. from Stanford University in 1978 and her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 1981.

Follow Valerie Jarrett on Twitter @VJ44.

David Agnew
Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs

David Agnew currently serves as Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs. In this role, David oversees the Obama Administration’s relationship with state, city, county, and tribal elected officials across the country. David previously served as Deputy Director of the office and was the President’s liaison to America’s mayors and county officials.

Prior to joining the White House, David was a businessman and community leader in Charleston, South Carolina. He has served as a top deputy to Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr., a Special Assistant in the Office of U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, and a management consultant at Price Waterhouse. David has been active in public affairs and urban policy throughout his career, and has served in leadership roles for numerous non-profit organizations, including the Trust for Public Land, the Charleston Parks Conservancy, and the College of Charleston Riley Center.

David received his Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He is a Harry S. Truman Scholar, a European Union Visiting Fellow, and a Liberty Fellow.

Follow David Agnew on Twitter @DavidAgnew44.

Yohannes Abraham
Special Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff for the Office of Public Engagement and the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs

Yohannes Abraham serves as Special Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff for the Office of Public Engagement and the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. Prior to joining the White House, Abraham served as the Deputy National Political Director on the Obama-Biden 2012 campaign, managing the campaign's engagement with elected and labor officials in key swing states. After the election, Abraham was named Director of Public Engagement for the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Committee. Before joining the Obama-Biden 2012 campaign, Abraham was the National Political Director at Organizing for America. He also served as then Senator Obama’s Virginia Field Director during the 2008 general election. Abraham is a native of Springfield, VA.

Adrian Saenz
Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs

Adrian Saenz serves as Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs managing the Obama Administration’s relationships with state elected officials.

Before joining the White House, Adrian served as the Senior Advisor for Immigration Reform at Organizing for Action. Prior to that, he was the National Latino Vote Director on the Obama-Biden 2012 campaign, where he oversaw the implementation of a program to engage and turnout Latino voters across the country. Following the election, Adrian joined the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Committee as the Director of Constituency Engagement. He has also worked on numerous electoral campaigns and as the National Field Director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Adrian began his government service in the United States House of Representatives, first as a legislative aide and Communications Director for Texas Congressman Charlie Gonzalez and later as Chief of Staff to two separate Members of Congress. In that capacity he developed and directed district-focused constituent service, legislative and outreach programs that utilized grassroots coalitions and partnerships with community leaders and advocacy groups, as well as Federal, state and local-level decision makers.

While an employee of the U.S. House, Adrian also served as President of the Congressional Hispanic Staff Association, an organization focused on increasing the number of Hispanic staffers in the United States Congress and promoting career development and advancement opportunities for Hispanic congressional staffers.

A native of Brownsville, Texas, Adrian received his undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Elias Alcantara
Staff Assistant

Elias Alcantara serves as Staff Assistant in the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs as a liaison for local officials across the country. Previously, he served as a U.S. Fellow for the Organization of American States and resided in Santiago, Chile for two years. While in Chile he earned a Master of Arts in International Studies at the Universidad de Chile’s Institute of International Studies. Elias is a graduate of Lehman College of the City University of New York(CUNY) and is originally from the Bronx, New York.

Gabe Amo
Staff Assistant

Gabe Amo serves as Staff Assistant in the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs as the liaison for Lieutenant Governors, State Treasurers, and Secretaries of State. Previously, he worked on the Obama 2012 campaign as National Political Coordinator and on various political campaigns in his home state of Rhode Island. Gabe is a graduate of Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, where he received a Truman Scholarship, and was a Marshall Scholar at the University of Oxford.

Kellyn Blossom
Associate Director of Intergovernmental Affairs
Kellyn Blossom serves as the Associate Director for Intergovernmental Affairs as a liaison for mayors, county officials and city leaders across the country. Previously, Kellyn served as the Director of Public Engagement in the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs at the Department of Homeland Security and in the Office of the Director at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Kellyn served as a consultant for Members of Congress and worked at the Democratic Governors Association. Kellyn is a graduate of Brown University and is originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Irene Hsu
Assistant Director of Intergovernmental Affairs

Irene Hsu serves as Assistant Director of Intergovernmental Affairs. Prior to joining the White House, she worked in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Chief of Staff’s office. She previously served in AmeriCorps and worked for the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council before joining the 2008 Obama for America campaign. Irene received her B.A. from Stanford University and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Katherine Branch
Director of Special Projects and Special Assistant to the Senior Advisor

Katherine Branch is the Director of Special Projects and Special Assistant to the Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett. In this role, she oversees and executes a variety of projects designed to support the Senior Advisor in her roles as head of the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs and as chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls. Branch has been a key member of the Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs team since the very beginning of the President’s first term, and has played a vital role in its work to promote the President’s agenda.

Prior to joining the White House, Kathy worked at The Habitat Company as Executive Assistant to then-CEO Valerie Jarrett. Prior to that, Kathy served in the Department of Planning and Development for the City of Chicago.

A native of Chicago, Illinois, Branch graduated from the University of Phoenix with an BSB/M in Business.

Tara Corrigan
Associate Director of Intergovernmental Affairs

Tara Corrigan is an Associate Director in the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, working as a liaison for attorneys general and state legislators. She most recently served on the Obama 2012 Campaign as Campaign Manager Jim Messina’s assistant. She also previously served in the White House Office of Political Affairs, White House Operations, the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Committee, the 2008 Presidential Transition Team, and the 2008 Obama campaign. A native of Toms River, NJ, she is a graduate of Northwestern University.

David Dietz
Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff for the Office of Public Engagement and the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs

David is the Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff for the Office of Public Engagement and the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. Prior to joining the White House, David served on The President¹s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force and worked for the 2012 Obama-Biden campaign in Chicago. A native Hoosier and graduate of DePauw University, David got his start with the President in early 2008 as a volunteer for then Senator Obama¹s campaign in Iowa.

Monique Dorsainvil
Director of Planning and Events for the Office of Public Engagement and the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs

Dorsainvil serves as the Director of Planning and Events for the Office of Public Engagement and the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. In this role, she coordinates engagement events, bill signings, and policy briefings while providing scheduling guidance and logistical support for the outreach missions of OPE and IGA.

Prior to this role, Dorsainvil served as a Staff Assistant in the Office of Public Engagement working on the White House Council on Women and Girls and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Outreach. Dorsainvil previously served as a White House Intern in the Office of the First Lady in 2009 and subsequently advanced official domestic and international visits for the President and First Lady. She graduated from Emory University with a B.A. in Women’s Studies and Global Health.

Quinn Fitzgerald
Staff Assistant

Quinn St.Clair Fitzgerald is a Staff Assistant in the Office of Public Engagement. Previously, Quinn served as an intern in the Office of Public Engagement working on Native American outreach and young American outreach. The proud Boston, Massachusetts native graduated from the College of the Holy Cross where she developed her passion for public service.

Zaid Hassan
Staff Assistant

Zaid Hassan is currently serving as a Staff Assistant in the Office of Public Engagement and the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. He is also the Assistant to the Special Assistant to the President and Principal Deputy Director of OPE.

Prior to joining the White House, Zaid worked on the Obama-Biden 2012 re-election campaign. He initially served with the operations and travel teams at the campaign headquarters in Chicago and organized in the field thereafter as Iowa’s Deputy Get Out the Vote Director.

Before his yearlong commitment with the Obama for America campaign, Zaid served at the Texas state legislature and held leadership positions with several non-profit organizations in Austin.

A proud Longhorn, he received his B.A. in Government from The University of Texas at Austin. Zaid was raised in Lahore, Pakistan and Austin, Texas.

Liza Heyman
Staff Assistant

Liza is a Staff Assistant for the Office of Public Engagement and Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. Before joining the White House, Liza worked at the Democratic National Committee as a fundraiser for the Obama-Biden 2012 Campaign. Prior to the campaign, Liza worked as a Confidential Assistant at the Department of Homeland Security. Liza served as a former White House intern in the Office of Public Engagement, where she worked on women’s issues in coordination with the White House Council on Women and Girls. Liza was born and raised in the City of Chicago and is a proud graduate of Vanderbilt University.