Dr. Jill BidenMarch 10, 2011
10:54 AM EDT
Today I visited an amazing and hopeful place in Moscow – the Kulakov Center for Obstetrics, Gynecology and Perinatology – one of Russia’s leading centers for maternal and child health. While there I had the chance to tour the Center – and most importantly to meet several new mothers and babies. I was pleased to learn about the important strides being made in maternal and infant health in Russia – and to see the living proof of these efforts on my visit.
While at the Center today, I also had the chance to witness the announcement of a new partnership to create text4baby Russia, a free mobile health information service promoting maternal and child health through text messages. Text4baby Russia is similar to the text4baby service that was launched in the United States last year. The U.S. and Russian partners have been working together since last year to share technical expertise and best practices in using text messaging programs to improve the health of expecting and new mothers.
It was heartening to see this example of American partners – private sector and non-profit – working with Russian colleagues to learn from each other to tackle common problems. We must use every tool we have to keep our mothers and newborns healthy – and this is a promising step.
The text4baby Russia service is scheduled to start sending messages to moms later this year. As a mother and a grandmother – I congratulate all of those working on maternal health issues, and look forward to celebrating the growth of the text4baby program.
March 10, 2011
10:21 AM EDT
I am a high school United States Government teacher at Anacostia Senior High School in Washington, D.C., and I decided to apply for the White House Internship Program because I wanted to continue making a difference. Leaving my students for a semester was a very difficult decision to make but I knew that interning within the Office of the First Lady and helping to continue the great work she and her staff had been championing would be a priceless experience that would allow me to return to teaching an enlightened, highly motivated person.
As a woman of color from the rural South I always desired to learn as much as possible, become educated and travel to places I was never afforded the opportunity to visit while growing up in a single-parent household. A first-generation college student, I attended college and went on to attend graduate school at Harvard University in order become the best teacher I could possibly be. It was during graduate school that I learned more about First Lady Michelle Obama and the work she desired to do for youth and adults in our county. I admired her story, ambition and drive; I knew that I could work hard in helping her achieve her goals as First Lady if given the opportunity to join her team as an intern.
Jesse LeeMarch 10, 2011
08:43 AM EDT
At 5:00 PM local time in Moscow, 9:00 AM EST, the Vice President will deliver a major speech on U.S.-Russia relations hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia at Moscow State University. In his speech, the Vice President will highlight recent areas of accomplishment on shared interests, as well as ways the U.S. and Russia can continue to work together to further the prosperity of our two countries. It's an important stop in his trip with Dr. Jill Biden to Finland, Russia, and Moldova.
UPDATE: This event has now concluded.
March 10, 2011
06:00 AM EDT
Today, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are hosting the White House Conference on Bullying Prevention to bring together students, parents, educators, policymakers, non-profit leaders, and administration officials to address the challenges posed by bullying, to highlight successful efforts of those who are taking action, and to send the message we must all work together to make our schools and communities safe for all students.
Last fall several tragic suicides linked to bullying caught the nation’s attention and focused it on what has been a longstanding and pervasive problem in our schools. This was not “news” to us in DC: in 2009 we had convened an interagency task force on bullying, staged a national summit on the subject in August 2010 (you can watch segments on CSPAN here), and remain engaged on many fronts in efforts to reduce bullying, including launching a new web site today, stopbullying.gov. But with the President’s involvement today, we are sending the strongest message we can that all of us need to do more. (And in case you missed it, the President and First Lady released a special video message yesterday).
We need you to be a part of the dialogue, too. You can watch portions of the Conference on Bullying Prevention live right here on WhiteHouse.gov and join in several special online discussions throughout the day.
Here’s the lineup:
10:35 AM: Opening Remarks by First Lady Michelle Obama and President Obama
Watch live on WhiteHouse.gov/live.
11:00 AM: A conversation with experts on effective programs and policies to prevent bullying
Panel Discussion with Susan Swearer-Napalitano, Justin Patchin, Catherine Bradshaw, and George Sugai moderated by White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett. Watch live at WhiteHouse.gov/live
12:20 PM: Special "Facebook Live" Event at the White House Conference on Bullying Prevention
Assistant to the President and Deputy Senior Advisor Stephanie Cutter, Facebook Chief Security Officer Joe Sullivan, MTV Vice President for Public Affairs Jason Rzepka and Rosalind Wiseman take questions from the public via Facebook on bullying prevention. Watch live at WhiteHouse.gov/live and submit your questions on Facebook.
1:15PM: Open for Questions: iVillage with Secretary Sebelius at the White House Conference on Bullying Prevention
Kelly Wallace poses questions from the iVillage audience on bullying prevention to Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius. Watch live at WhiteHouse.gov/live.
2:00PM: Administration Officials Deliver Closing Remarks at Conference Wrap Up Session
Watch live on WhiteHouse.gov/live.
For too long, people have excused bullying by saying things like “What can you do, bullying has been going on forever. Kids are mean.” Or “She just made a bad joke, she didn’t mean to hurt anyone.” Or, worse yet, “Bullying is just part of growing up. It builds character.” We reject those excuses. As the President says, bullying isn’t a normal rite of passage or an inevitable part of growing up. We all have an obligation to ensure that our schools are safe for all of our children. We can, and we will, stop bullying now.
- 10:35 AM: Opening Remarks by First Lady Michelle Obama and President Obama
March 09, 2011
04:45 PM EDT
The White House Photo Office recently released a series of behind-the-scenes photos from the month of February. Take a look at President Obama handling turmoil across North Africa and the Middle East, working on budget issues with Congressional leadership, and meeting innovators, educators, and builders around the country.
Aneesh ChopraMarch 09, 2011
03:54 PM EDT
This weekend, as an important component of the President’s strategy to out-innovate our economic competitors, the Administration’s Startup America initiative will travel to Austin, Texas. In Texas, I will be joining my colleagues at South by Southwest (SXSW) to engage directly with entrepreneurs—prospective and established—and to help celebrate, inspire, and accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship throughout the Nation.
To complement our efforts, Steve Case, co-founder of AOL and Chairman of the Case Foundation, and Carl Schramm, President and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation, have organized a public response to the President’s call to action, engaging entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, angel investors, foundation leaders, and others to increase the prevalence and success of high growth startups via the Startup America Partnership. The Partnership’s newly hired CEO, Scott Case, will join us at SXSW.
Rather than lecture from the podium, we are reserving the bulk of our time for each of our two sessions (Saturday, March 12, 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.) to respond to your questions and ideas. To that end, we’ve added two options for feedback:
- Share your ideas on what barriers we should reduce or express your opinion on other ideas already posted.
- Ask questions for my colleagues on the panel to answer via Twitter—hashtag #suasxsw for the festival or follow #startupamerica for updates.
We started our conversation last week in the heart of North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park. Over 150 entrepreneurs, investors, and others challenged Administration officials on ideas like extending student loan deferments for startups and a new immigration category called “startup visa”.
Joining me at SXSW will be:
- Ronnie Chatterji (Council of Economic Advisors)
- Sean Greene (U.S. Small Business Administration)
- David Kappos (United States Patent and Trademark Office)
- Todd Park (Health and Human Services)
- Scott Case (Startup America Partnership)
Thank you in advance for your participation. We look forward to hearing from you and taking swift action to support our Nation’s entrepreneurial economic engine.
Aneesh Chopra is U.S. Chief Technology Officer
March 09, 2011
03:03 PM EDT
With the impending resignation of Ambassador Jon Huntsman, President Obama today named current Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke his new ambassador to the People's Republic of China.
In replacing Ambassador Huntsman, I can think of nobody who is more qualified than Gary Locke. More than 100 years ago, Gary’s grandfather left China on a steamship bound for America, where he worked as a domestic servant in Washington State. A century later, his grandson will return to China as America’s top diplomat. In the years between these milestones, Gary has distinguished himself as one of our nation’s most respected and admired public servants.
The President discussed the importance of the relationship between America and China on issues ranging from security matters to shared economic prosperity in a global economy. Secretary Locke's accomplishments at the Department of Commerce make him especially well-suited to be America's top representative in Beijing.
March 09, 2011
02:51 PM EDT
Ed. Note: Applications for the Race to the Top Commencement Challenge close Friday, March 11 at 11:59 PM. Submit your application today!
Today, the Race to the Top Commencement Challenge was featured in a segment on Channel One News that aired in classrooms across the country. In the video, graduates from last year’s winning school talk about what it was like to win the Commencement Challenge.
“To just be there, right there – so close to him – is ridiculous. I would have never thought I’d have that experience in my life,” says Nicole Allen in the video. To watch the video, click here.
This year’s Commencement Challenge is giving students and schools the opportunity to have the same experience as Kalamazoo Central High School.
To be considered for the chance to have President Obama as a commencement speaker, visit WhiteHouse.gov/Commencement and tells us how your school is preparing students for college and a career. The application requires three essays and some information about student achievement that should be easily accessible. Applicants also have the option of submitting a short video about their school. The deadline to apply is this Friday, March 11, at 11:59 PM EST.
Kalpen ModiMarch 09, 2011
12:02 PM EDT
This is exciting, folks. A few weeks ago, when President Obama dropped by a Roundtable with Young Americans in Cleveland, Ohio, he announced that he was tasking his Administration with participating in 100 Roundtables all over the country. And over the last 2 weeks we have put together a great initiative to assure that young Americans of all walks of life can participate in a roundtable if they so choose!
Presidents and White Houses of the past have encouraged citizens to debate and discuss issues of the day; it’s one of the great strengths of a free and democratic society. Encouraging citizens to take a more active role in the betterment of American society, President Kennedy said, “The efforts of the government alone will never be enough. In the end the people must choose and the people must help themselves." And speaking directly about young people, President Reagan remarked that, “Each generation goes further than the generation preceding it because it stands on the shoulders of that generation. You will have opportunities beyond anything we've ever known.”
Young Americans today are the most innovative and creative generation we have ever seen. You have inherited incredible challenges and met them with inspiring solutions. You have used mediums, technologies, and ideas to connect to one another that we could have previously only dreamed about. Back in the day, if you wanted to talk to someone at the White House, you likely would have had to ride your horse up to the front door (there used to be stables here). Now all you have to do is fill out a web form.
Host a roundtable in your community and if you’d like someone from the Administration to join, let us know when and where your roundtable will be by submitting your information at www.WhiteHouse.gov/YoungAmericans.
If we can send someone to your roundtable, we’ll let you know about 24-48 hours in advance.
If we can’t – you can hold the roundtable and send us the feedback and sign-in sheets from the toolkit (at www.WhiteHouse.gov/YoungAmericans/follow-up) so that we follow up with you.
Our Youth Team here will read it, and we’ll be in touch with all of your participants in the coming weeks with White House conference calls, web chats, and other opportunities to talk with folks all across the Obama Administration on a number of important issues.
Kalpen Modi is Associate Director of the Office of Public Engagement
March 09, 2011
11:36 AM EDT
Ambassador Susan Rice, the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, marked the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day on March 8th in East Harlem, New York. There she urged tomorrow’s strong woman leaders, the 11th and 12th grade classes of The Young Women’s Leadership School (TYWLS) of East Harlem, to continue to win their future through education.
Ambassador Susan Rice speaks to roughly 120 students and staff from The Young Women’s
Leadership School of East Harlem on March 8, 2011
These young women, primarily low-income students of color, have a remarkable legacy to uphold: for ten straight years, every single senior at TYWLS of East Harlem has been accepted to college with significant financial aid. Ambassador Rice spoke to roughly 120 students and teachers who gathered in the school’s multi-purpose gymnasium on 106th Street. “There is no greater source of empowerment and success,” she said, “than to have, and to insist upon getting the best education.”
After the event, Ambassador Rice met and snapped photographs with Jo’Nella Queen Ellerbe, Marjana Chowdhury, and Tiara Kittrell, seniors who have been accepted to prestigious universities and who delivered introductory and closing remarks on Tuesday. Together with their classmates, these young women carry on with their “most important asset,” as Ambassador Rice called it: “the education that you are getting, and the education that you will continue to get when you leave this great school.”
For more information on the United States’ work at the United Nations, visit www.usun.state.gov and follow Ambassador Rice on Twitter and Facebook. Click here for Ambassador Rice’s statement commemorating International Women’s Day.
Taara Rangarajan is a Special Assistant at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations
March 09, 2011
10:08 AM EDT
One of the central questions yet to be answered in energy technology is how to store energy from alternative sources like solar or wind that don’t always produce power when we need it. For the Navy and Marine Corps, this is particularly important, as we move toward our established goal of at least 50% non-fossil fuel use by 2020.
Because just like in the commercial world, the steady march of technology has created a voracious appetite for ever-increasing amounts of energy. A Marine platoon in Vietnam took two or three radios on patrol, now a single squad in Afghanistan takes over ten.
Last week at the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) Innovation Summit, I announced two new joint energy initiatives between DoD and ARPA-E to begin research and development of technology to answer this energy storage question, technology that once developed, will move us a step closer to a new energy future and a new clean energy economy for the United States.
Macon PhillipsMarch 09, 2011
09:04 AM EDT
President Obama and the First Lady talk about bullying and the growing movement, led by young people, to make our communities places where young people can thrive:
While it may not always be in the headlines, bullying is an issue that affects every young person in America, and we all have a responsibility to do something about it.
Tomorrow, the President and First Lady will host parents, teachers, students, community leaders and others at a White House Conference on Bullying Prevention. WhiteHouse.gov/live will have live video throughout the day, including online chats where you can discuss bullying with experts on the subject. We’re already taking questions for one of them, and you can RSVP for a special "Facebook Live" chat here.
Jesse LeeMarch 08, 2011
05:38 PM EDT
“I wanted to come to TechBoston so that the rest of America can see how it’s done,” said the President after touring this innovative school. He was joined by Melinda Gates, one of the benefactors who have helped turn a school serving kids from some of the toughest neighborhoods in Boston into one of its most successful. As the President put it:
Every day, TechBoston is proving that no matter who you are, or what you look like, or where you come from, every child can learn. Every child can succeed. And every child deserves that chance.
The President went on to lay out the principles that will be guiding him as he fights both to maintain investments in our education system, and to reform it:
Heather ZichalMarch 08, 2011
05:22 PM EDT
Across the country, American families and businesses are feeling the impact of higher gasoline prices. We understand the extra burden that increasing energy prices put on family budgets across the country, and the administration is closely monitoring the situation and weighing various options that we have.
One area where we have focused our efforts since the start of the administration – long before this current spike – is increasing responsible domestic energy production – including oil and gas. In fact, oil production last year rose to its highest level since 2003. From 2008 to 2010, oil production from the Outer Continental Shelf increased more than a third – from 446 million barrels in 2008 to an more than 600 million barrels of estimated production in 2010.
Onshore, responsible oil production from public lands has also increased over the last year, from 109 million barrels in 2009 to 114 million barrels in 2010.
Ken SalazarMarch 08, 2011
04:19 PM EDT
On February 21st I traveled to Delano, California to honor the life and legacy of César Chávez and to designate the “Forty Acres” site as a National Historic Landmark. It truly was a momentous occasion to bring recognition to the home of the farm worker movement; the place where Chávez led civil rights and social reform in the 60’s and 70’s.
It was through Chávez’s tireless leadership and commitment to non violent protests that focused national attention on farm workers’ issues. Through boycotts, pickets and fasts, Chávez raised our nation’s awareness to the struggles of farm workers and the quest for fair pay, safer working conditions and the importance and dignity of the migrant laborers.
Hundreds of people turned out for this dedication, from the many volunteers who marched with Chávez, to the farm workers who gained dignity and respect through the creation of the United Farm Workers union, to those who today, are still inspired and empowered by Chávez’s commitment to improving the lives of our most forgotten.
We should all be inspired by César Chávez. His leadership, tireless work ethic, and selfless sacrifice helped forge a new era of justice for millions of farm workers and gave them hope for a better future, both for themselves and for their children. He’s an American hero and one of the great civil rights icons of our country’s history. By recognizing the Forty Acres site as a National Historic Landmark we are ensuring that César Chávez’s story, and the story of all who struggled with him, is remembered, honored, and passed along to future generations.
Ken Salazar is Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior
Elizabeth AlexanderMarch 08, 2011
03:43 PM EDT
Vice President Biden spent most of this 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day with Finnish President Tarja Halonen and Prime Minister Mari Kiviniemi (both women!).
In his remarks with President Halonen, the Vice President said: “Finland has been a leader in the world, a pioneer when it comes to women having the right to an equal place in society. And I believe that to be the single greatest moral imperative of our time.”
He went on to say, “The single most significant thing we can do in the 21st century to improve the prospect of peace and security is to educate more women and to have women, particularly in other parts of the less developed world, have equal access to opportunity.”
Vice President Joe Biden stops for a photo with Finnish Prime Minister Mari Kiviniemi at the House of Estates, in Helsinki, Finland, March 8, 2011. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)
“And if there’s any nation in which I can stand with on the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day, this is the most appropriate place to stand,” the Vice President added.
Sarah BernardMarch 08, 2011
01:43 PM EDT
Every day, thousands of kids, teens, and young adults around the country are bullied. Estimates are that nearly one-third of all school-aged children are bullied each school year - upwards of 13 million students. Students involved in bullying are more likely to have challenges in school, to abuse drugs and alcohol, and to have health and mental health issues. If we fail to address bullying we put ourselves at a disadvantage for increasing academic achievement and making sure all of our students are college and career ready.
On Thursday, the White House Conference on Bullying Prevention will bring together communities from across the nation who have been affected by bullying as well as those who are taking action to address it. As part of the agenda, Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett will host a policy panel with issue experts including Catherine Bradshaw of Johns Hopkins University, George Sugai from the University of Connecticut, Susan Swearer-Napolitano from the University of Nebraska, as well as the Cyberbullying Research Center's Justin Patchin.
Would you like Valerie to pose a question on your behalf?
Send us your question here, or at Facebook.com/WhiteHouse to ask your question as a comment on our wall. Valerie Jarrett will pose as many of them as she can during the Experts Panel on Thursday morning. Tune in to watch at 11:00am EST at whitehouse.gov/live.
Courtney O'DonnellMarch 08, 2011
11:11 AM EDT
Like she does on most Tuesdays, Dr. Biden spent time on a college campus this morning – but today it was in Finland! As the Vice President conducted his meetings at the Presidential Palace, Dr. Biden visited the Helsinki City College of Culinary Art, Fashion and Beauty. She received a warm welcome from the Director General of the Finnish Minister of Education, and discussed the Finnish education system as well higher education in the United States. During a guided tour of the campus, Dr. Biden had the opportunity to meet with students and staff at the fashion design labs and culinary classrooms. She was impressed with the school’s hands-on teaching techniques and on the job learning environment, and remarked on the parallels to the many valuable job training programs in place at community colleges across America.
Nancy SutleyMarch 08, 2011
09:59 AM EDT
Secretary Steven ChuMarch 07, 2011
04:59 PM EDT
Today, the Department announced that a research team at our BioEnergy Science Center achieved yet another advance in the drive toward next generation biofuels: using a microbe to convert plant matter directly into isobutanol. Isobutanol can be burned in regular car engines with a heat value higher than ethanol and similar to gasoline. This is part of a broad portfolio of work the Department is doing to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil and create new economic opportunities for rural America.
This announcement is yet another sign of the rapid progress we are making in developing the next generation of biofuels that can help reduce our oil dependence. This is a perfect example of the promising opportunity we have to create a major new industry based on bio-material such as wheat and rice straw, corn stover, lumber wastes, and plants specifically developed for bio-fuel production that require far less fertilizer and other energy inputs. But we must continue with an aggressive research and development effort.
America's oil dependence -- which leaves hardworking families at the mercy of global oil markets -- won't be solved overnight. But the remarkable advance of science and biotechnology in the past decade puts us on the precipice of a revolution in biofuels. In fact, biotechnologies, and the biological sciences that provide the underlying foundation, are some of the most rapidly developing areas in science and technology today - and the United States is leading the way. In the coming years, we can expect dramatic breakthroughs that will allow us to produce the clean energy we need right here at home. We need to act aggressively to seize this opportunity and win the future.
Steven Chu is the Secretary of Energy.
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