Women in the White House
My name is Jenny Yeager and I am the Special Assistant to the Director of Public Liaison, Tina Tchen. That means that I help her and our whole team with a wide variety of events. Whether it’s organizing one of our complex Summits, directly reaching out to constituents, meeting with our legal team, or organizing special events in the White House, one thing’s for sure, being a part of the Public Engagement team is never dull!
My biggest single project so far was probably organizing Women’s History Month. In the White House and across the Administration, we have so many intelligent, energetic and passionate women (and men!) focused on improving the lives of women, children and families in the US and abroad. It’s an honor to be working among such amazing people. But coordinating all of these voices can be a big challenge.
Our office is the glue that pulls these people together for special projects like Women’s History Month. Over the course of a few weeks we held meetings with the Vice President’s office, the First Lady’s office, our Cabinet Affairs team, Intergovernmental Affairs, Legislative Affairs and several other key players. Together, we came up with several creative ways to highlight the many ways women contribute to our communities, our cities and states, to the country and to the world.
First Lady Michelle Obama kicked off the month by visiting the Women In Military Service For America Memorial in Arlington, VA. At the monument she honored the servicewomen who have served and continue to tirelessly serve our country. She followed up this visit with a trip to Miriam’s Kitchen, a facility in Washington that serves meals to the hungry. Not only did she serve food herself, she encouraged the whole White House staff to bring in fruit and fresh vegetables for the Kitchen. The staff here at the White House brought in enough fruit and vegetables to feed 200 families breakfast and dinner for 2 weeks.
The week after that, the State Department honored courageous actions of women all over the world in a ceremony with the First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
And the good news is that the work to help women and girls will not stop after Women’s History Month! In mid-March, President Obama signed an Executive Order creating the White House Council on Women and Girls. This Council will be made up of Secretaries and Administrators throughout the Federal Government. Its overarching purpose is to improve the lives of women and girls by developing smart policy that takes the impact on that community into account.
The Council will be very busy, so look forward to more information on our activities soon!
Jenny Yeager is Special Assistant to the Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement