Careers

Barack's Party Planner

If you’re party-hopping in D.C. in the next four years, you should know Desirée Rogers. As Barack Obama’s social secretary, she’s the one planning every social event and ceremony—the woman with a huge computerized seating chart (“so you can drag the names of guests around until you get it right”). The Chicagoan tells Vogue she is “helping people visualize what the Obama presidency is about, the feelings Americans voted for—inclusion, transparency, embracing people you might never otherwise learn about—and also translating the splendor, that sweetness, that comfort of the White House to everyone.” Quite a task, no? Letitia Baldridge, who held the position during the Kennedy administration, says: “Desirée is so poised and so charming, so substantial and capable, but nonetheless I told her how important it is to always stand up to the West Wing.” Let the gatherings (and gatekeeping) begin!