The White House Blog: The First Lady

  • West Wing Week: 03/22/13 or “Reach Out to New Horizons”

    This week, the President spoke on American Energy Security at the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois, celebrated the luck of the Irish, honored leaders in STEM education and small business, filled out his NCAA tournament brackets, announced his nominee for the Secretary of Labor, and embarked on a 5 day trip to Israel, the West Bank, and Jordan.


  • First Lady Michelle Obama Honors 14 Women Veterans as Champions of Change

    Earlier this week, First Lady Michelle Obama and Joining Forces recognized 14 extraordinary women veterans as Champions of Change. The event, which took place at the White House, honored women veterans who have made a tremendous impact on our nation’s communities, businesses, and schools.

    First Lady Michelle Obama Delivers Remarks Honoring Women's Veterans

    First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks during a Champions of Change event honoring women veterans, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building of the White House, March 19, 2013. Mrs. Obama spoke to the group on behalf of her Joining Forces initiative. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

    Mrs. Obama spoke to the honorees and highlighted the need for companies to hire transitioning women veterans. “Right now, we have so many talented, highly skilled veterans who have so much to offer this country. And they're going to need that opportunity to make that happen,” said the First Lady. “We need that service operating here at home.”

    Through Joining Forces, Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden are determined to serve veterans and military families and make sure that they receive the benefits, support, and respect they have earned and deserve. The First Lady spoke to the incredible skills and hard work that women veterans possess and bring to every job they do:

    “You are the leaders in our businesses and schools in our communities. You're mothers raising your kids with that same sense of honor that defines your own lives every single day. You're volunteers in your neighborhoods, on the PTA, your houses of worship, always finding ways to keep lifting folks up.

    Long after you stop serving this country, you don’t stop serving it after you hang up your uniforms. And that’s something that we say all the time about our veterans. It's important for the nation to understand that you all keep working.”


  • President Obama Hosts a Celebration of Women's History Month at the White House

    President Barack Obama with First Lady Michelle Obama and Amanda McMillan at the Women’s History Month reception, March 18, 2013.

    President Barack Obama delivers remarks during the Women’s History Month reception in the East Room of the White House, March 18, 2013. Standing at right are First Lady Michelle Obama and Amanda McMillan, who introduced the President. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    President Obama today welcomed a group of accomplished and inspiring women to a reception in the East Room of the White House. The group, which included leaders like A&E Networks CEO Abbe Raven, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Girl Scouts' CEO Anna Maria Chávez, astronaut Sunita Williams, activists Dolores Huerta and Lilly Ledbetter, and WNBA star (and 3-time Olympic Gold Medalist) Tamika Catchings, joined the President, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden to celebrate the progress women make in this country each and every day. President Obama highlighted the changes we've seen in the past century:

    When I look around this room, it is hard to believe that 100 years ago this month, thousands of women were marching right outside this house demanding one of our most fundamental right: the right to vote, to have a say in our democracy. And today, a century later, its rooms are full of accomplished women who have overcome discrimination, shattered glass ceilings, and become outstanding role models for all of our sons and daughters. And that means we've come a long way, and that’s thanks to the efforts of so many people like you.

    Because of the hard work and exemplary leadership of the women in this room, military families have protected family and medical leave. Women have legal recourse to fight against pay discrimination... Women have the opportunity to serve on the front lines of our military conflicts, and that means that they're getting paid and promoted equally. Women have the opportunity to make their own choices about their health.


  • West Wing Week: 03/15/13 or “Stay With It!”

    This week, the President met with the Sultan of Brunei, his Export Council, Intel Science Fair finalists, and Israel Channel 2; he discussed cybersecurity and immigration reform with CEOs, and traveled to the Capitol to meet with Congressional Caucuses, while the First Lady honored Women of Courage, held a Twitter Q&A, and challenged CEOs to find innovative ways to hire veterans.


  • First Lady Michelle Obama Challenges America's CEOs To Be Bold in Finding Ways to Hire Veterans

    First Lady Michelle Obama Addresses the Business Roundtable, March 13, 2013

    First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks on the Joining Forces Initiative to business leaders at the Business Roundtable Conference Center in Washington, D.C., March 13, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

    First Lady Michelle Obama today met with the Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies which combined have nearly 16 million employees, and challenged these leaders to make bold commitments to hire our veterans and military spouses and help them reach their full potential within their companies.

    Mrs. Obama highlighted the need for action, referring to the hundreds of thousands of veterans and military spouses currently looking for work, and pointing out that in the coming years, over one million more will be hanging up their uniforms and transitioning back to civilian life. "These men and women will be returning to their families, rejoining their communities, and figuring out what’s next in their lives," said the First Lady. "And as they do all of that, the one thing that they're going to be thinking about is a job."


  • #AskFLOTUS: The First Lady Discusses Let’s Move! on Twitter

    Ed. note: This post was originally published on the Let's Move! website.

    First Lady Michelle Obama participates in a “Let’s Move!” Twitter Office Hour in the First Lady’s East Wing Office of the White House

    First Lady Michelle Obama participates in a “Let’s Move!” Twitter Office Hour in the First Lady’s East Wing Office of the White House. March 11, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

    Earlier today, First Lady Michelle Obama hopped on Twitter to discuss Let's Move!, her initiative to ensure our nation’s kids grow up healthy. During the chat with people from around the country, Mrs. Obama shared her favorite cardio workout (it’s kickboxing), winter recipes she loves (and a great resource for Pinspiration), plus a new program that will bring physical activity back to schools (and how you can get involved).

    Check out the full Q&A below, or over on Storify. And be sure to follow @FLOTUS and @LetsMove on Twitter for updates and news about the Let’s Move! initiative and how you can get involved.


  • #AskFLOTUS About Let's Move!

    Ed. note: This post was originally published on the Let's Move! website. You can see that post here. Update: This live event has concluded. You can see the full Q&A here.

    To celebrate the third anniversary of Let’s Move!, First Lady Michelle Obama traveled around the country to highlight healthy changes being made in schools, towns and businesses across America.

    Tomorrow, we're continuing the celebration on Twitter to discuss the First Lady's initiative to ensure that all our children grow up healthy and reach their full potential.


  • First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry Present International Women of Courage Awards

    First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry honor the recipients of the International Women of Courage Award

    First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry honor the recipients of the International Women of Courage Award in the Dean Acheson Auditorium at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., March 8, 2013. Seated, from left, are: awardee Malalai Bahaduri, First Sergeant, Afghan National Interdiction Unit, Afghanistan; awardee Julieta Castellanos, Rector, National Autonomous University of Honduras, Honduras; awardee Dr. Josephine Obiajulu Odumakin, President, Campaign for Democracy, Nigeria; Secretary of State John Kerry; Teresa Heinz Kerry, Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman; awardee Elena Milashina, journalist and human rights activist, Russia; and awardee Fartuun Adan, Executive Director, Elman Peace and Human Rights Centre, Somalia. Awarded in absentia were Tsering Woeser (Wei Se), Tibetan author, poet, blogger, China; Razan Zeitunah, human rights lawyer and Founder, Local Coordination Committees,Syria; Ta Phong Tan, blogger,Vietnam; and Nirbhaya “Fearless,” champion for justice, India. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

    First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry marked International Women's Day at the State Department where they presented the International Women of Courage Awards to nine remarkable women who, as Mrs. Obama said in her remarks, show us what our most basic values look like when they are put to the test.

    When these women witnessed horrific crimes or the disregard for basic human rights they spoke up, risking everything they had to see that justice was done.  When they saw their communities or their countries were ignoring issues like sexual violence or women’s rights, they gave those issues a face and a voice.  And with every act of strength and defiance, with every blog post, with every community meeting, these women have inspired millions to stand with them, and find their own voices, and work together to achieve real and lasting change. 


  • Hanging Out with First Lady Michelle Obama

    Ed. note: This post was originally published on the official Let's Move! website.

    First Lady Michelle Obama participates in the Let’s Move! Google+ Hangout

    First Lady Michelle Obama participates in the “Let’s Move!” Google+ Hangout in the Blue Room of the White House. March 4, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

    Earlier today, First Lady Michelle Obama joined her first ever Google+ Hangout live from the Blue Room of the White House. Continuing our series of “Fireside Hangouts” on Google+, Mrs. Obama participated in a virtual conversation about Let’s Move!, her initiative to ensure our nation’s kids grow up healthy and reach their full potential.

    During the Hangout, the First Lady discussed the new Let’s Move! Active Schools program designed to bring physical activity back to schools, the importance of family dinner, steps to get healthier lunches into schools – and favorite dance moves (of course, it’s the dougie. And yes, everyone in the hangout dougied together.)  Watch the full video:


  • Join First Lady Michelle Obama in Google+ Hangout about Let’s Move! on Monday

    Ed. note: This post was originally published on the official Let's Move website. You can read that post here.

    Last week, First Lady Michelle Obama traveled around the country to celebrate the third anniversary of Let’s Move!, her initiative to ensure that all our children grow up healthy and reach their full potential.

    Mrs. Obama highlighted great progress being made in schools, towns and businesses across America. She also announced several new programs that will help families make healthier choices and will enable our kids to be more physically active, including a new MyPlate partnership that identifies recipes that meet USDA nutrition standards on the largest food sites on the web, and the launch of Let's Move Active Schools, which empowers schools to find free or low-cost ways to incorporate movement before, during, and after the school day.

    On Monday, March 4th at 11:10 a.m. ET, the celebration continues as the First Lady joins her first ever Google+ Hangout.

    Mrs. Obama will participate in a completely virtual conversation from the Blue Room of the White House, speaking with families from around the country. The hangout will be moderated by Kelly Ripa, co-host of LIVE with Kelly and Michael, and we hope you’ll join, too!