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A Tale of Two Katies

Summary: 
Director of Press Advance Katie Lillie and Director of Citizen Participation Katie Stanton provide perspective on the logistics behind and the importance of the Shanghai Town Hall meeting.

Today’s updates were dispatched from Shanghai by two women named Katie, which seems like quite a coincidence until you learn that Katie is the most common name at the Obama White House, hands down.

The first, Katie Lillie, is an Obama veteran. She was an intrepid “press wrangler” during the campaign, a staffer who is embedded with the traveling press corps, helping make sure all their movements go smoothly. So it was a natural move for her to become the Director of Press Advance in the administration, coordinating press logistics on a grander scale. Since taking that position she has traveled 10’s of thousands miles and is working on her second passport, having filled the first to the brim with stamps and visas. What was so amazing to her about today’s town hall in Shanghai, was the similarities it had to hundreds of events held all over the United States during the campaign.

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Katie Stanton, by contrast, was in Shanghai as part of her very first experience advancing a presidential event. As the Director of Citizen Participation for the White House New Media team, she is always looking for ways to use technology and internet to engage the public with the President and the White House. To her, this town hall event was fresh way to open up a dialogue with people outside our borders, and a good opportunity to jump in a motorcade.

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Arun Chaudhary is the official White House videographer

Ed. Note: We are currently processing the video from last night’s event and will post it shortly.  Learn more about the trip by visiting our page dedicated to the Asia trip.