While many of us show up to work in cubicles tucked within bland office buildings, a chosen group of talented men and women spend long hours toiling for a singularly high-profile boss: the president. They work to enact policy changes and strengthen the bond between the president and the people. They document the world in pictures and help the administration operate like a tightly run ship. They seem perpetually tied to their BlackBerries. And no matter whether they work for a Republican or Democrat, the people employed by the president of the United States share at least one thing in common: A serious commitment to serving the American people. Here, a small selection of some of the bright minds who are currently working for President Barack Obama—what brought them to the White House, their roles, their expectations and their experiences.
DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF
What led you to your current position?
I was a diplomat for nearly 10 years, including in Sarajevo after the Bosnian war, the United Nations and at the National Security Council during the Clinton administration. I then went into the private sector before joining the Obama administration.
What is your favorite spot in the White House? A place that either gives you pause, or where you like to go to get five minutes alone?
The Jacqueline Kennedy Garden in the East Wing of the White House is truly serene and lovely, especially in spring.
What do you think will be the biggest change in your life when you leave this job?