The New Face of D.C. Power

Meet the "Obama women."

Susan E. Rice, United States ambassador to the United Nations.
Photograph: Photo by Eskinder Debebe/ United Nations/ Sipa Press

Melody BarnesPresident’s domestic policy adviser; director of the Domestic Policy Council
Barnes served as the senior domestic policy adviser to President Obama’s campaign. She was also the executive vice president for policy at the Center for American Progress and served as chief counsel to the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Regina Benjamin, MD
Surgeon General 
Benjamin is the first black woman to be elected to the American Medical Association Board of Trustees. Previously, she served as chair of the Federation of State Medical Boards of the United Sates. She is the founder and CEO of the Bayou La Batre Rural Health Clinic in Alabama, which provides primary care to anyone who needs it, regardless of their financial situation.

Margaret Hamburg, MD
Commissioner, Food and Drug Administration
Hamburg served as the commissioner of health for the city of New York for six years. She was also the assistant director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health.

Lisa P. JacksonAdministrator, Environmental Protection Agency
Jackson is the first black woman to serve as EPA administrator. She has been chief of staff to New Jersey Governor Jon S. Corzine and commissioner of the state’s Department of Environmental Protection.

Valerie B. JarrettSenior adviser and assistant to the president for intergovernmental affairs and public liaison
Jarrett was the president and CEO of The Habitat Company of Chicago, one of the largest private residential property managers in the Midwest. She also served as deputy corporation counsel for finance and development for the city of Chicago for eight years.

Susan E. Rice
United States ambassador to the United Nations
One of the youngest assistant secretaries of state for African Affairs in  the 1990s, Rice was also a senior fellow for several years at the Brookings Institution, where she focused on U.S. foreign policy, transnational security threats, weak states, global poverty and development.

Desiree Rogers—White House social secretary [UPDATE: Rogers resigned on February 26, 2010]
Rogers is the first black woman to organize and oversee all White House functions and ceremonies. She is the former president of Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas company, a Chicago-based natural gas provider.

Mona Sutphen—
White House deputy chief of staff
Sutphen was managing director of Stonebridge International, LLC a Washington-based strategic consulting firm that advises Fortune 500 companies on business opportunities. She was also a U.S. Foreign Service Officer domestic and abroad.

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