Rogers to be White House social secretary

Nov. 24, 2008 at 9:28 AM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 24 (UPI) -- Chicago businesswoman Desiree Rogers, a friend of U.S. President-elect Barack and Michelle Obama, will be White House social secretary, sources say.

Citing unnamed sources, The Washington Post reported Monday that Rogers, 49, will be appointed to the post, from which she will assist Michelle Obama with organizing and staging state events and official ceremonies held in the White House or on its grounds.

Rogers has an MBA from Harvard University and, until last summer, was president of Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas, which supplies natural gas to consumers in Chicago. She became well known to state residents as the director of the Illinois Lottery in the 1990s.

"Desiree is a heavy hitter -- she comes with her own range of contacts from around the country," Valerie Jarrett, a friend of Rogers' who also will work in the White House, told the Post. "She's close to Michelle and she knows everyone who will be working in the West Wing, so she will be able to create a synergy."

"(Rogers') business savvy, her marketing skills will all come into play," added Ann Stock, a social secretary in the Clinton White House.

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