Office of the First Lady of the United States

Summary

Office of the First Lady
US-WhiteHouse-Logo.svg
Office overview
Formed1977[1]
HeadquartersEast Wing of The White House
Employees11[2]
Office executive
Parent OfficeWhite House Office
WebsiteFirst Lady Jill Biden

The Office of the First Lady (OFL) is the staff accountable to the first lady of the United States. The office and its responsibilities, while not constitutionally mandated, have grown as the role of the first lady has grown and formalized through the history of the United States.[3] The Office of the First Lady is an entity of the White House Office, part of the Executive Office of the President.[4] It is located in the East Wing.

History

Though the persona, activities, and initiatives of the first lady have always been significant to the history of the United States, the first first lady to hire federally funded staff was Edith Roosevelt, who hired Belle Hagner as the first White House social secretary on October 2, 1901.[5] Eleanor Roosevelt became the first first lady to expand the office beyond social and administrative secretaries by hiring Malvina Thompson as her personal secretary[6] and Jackie Kennedy was the first to employ a press secretary.[7][3]

Under Rosalynn Carter, the first lady's staff became known as the Office of the First Lady. She organized the office into four major departments: projects and community liaison, press and research, schedule and advance, and social and personal; and was the first to add a chief of staff.[1] She was also the first to move her own work office into the East Wing. Though the role of the office has grown over the years, it primarily supports the first lady in promoting the agenda and campaigns of the president. Further to that, it provides support for the agenda of the first lady, who chooses causes and initiatives to campaign for during their time at the White House.

Organization

The first lady, Jill Biden, has her own staff.[8][9][10][11][12] The information in the table below shows the key members of the current staff.

Office Incumbent
Chief of Staff to the First Lady Julissa Pantaleón[13]
Press Secretary Michael LaRosa[14]
Communications Director Elizabeth Alexander[15]
White House Social Secretary Carlos Elizondo
White House Chief Floral Designer Hedieh Ghaffarian[16]
White House Executive Chef Cristeta Comerford[17]
White House Chief Usher Vacant

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Rosalynn Carter—Miller Center". Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  2. ^ Andrzejewski, Adam (June 30, 2020). "Trump's Leaner White House 2020 Payroll Saved Taxpayers $23.5 Million Since 2017". Forbes. Retrieved September 27, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "The First Lady & Her Role - The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum". Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  4. ^ "Executive Office of the President". United States Government. Retrieved 2009-06-05.
  5. ^ "TR Center - Isabella Hagner". Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  6. ^ "Malvina Thompson". Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  7. ^ "First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy's Press Secretary Pamela Turnure Accepts Gift Recording of Pablo Casals' White House Concert". John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. 21 February 1962. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  8. ^ "Tina Tchen". whitehouse.gov. 11 January 2011. Retrieved 22 November 2016 – via National Archives.
  9. ^ "Executive Office of the President". 23 December 2014. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  10. ^ Goodin, Emily (11 December 2013). "Michelle Obama gets new press secretary". Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  11. ^ "White House Announces New Chief Floral Designer, Hedieh Ghaffarian". whitehouse.gov. 17 September 2015. Retrieved 22 November 2016 – via National Archives.
  12. ^ "White House Hires First Woman Chef". Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  13. ^ Connley, Courtney (November 18, 2020). "Meet the 5 women appointed to President-elect Joe Biden's White House senior staff". CNBC.
  14. ^ lehighvalleylive.com, Tony Rhodin | For (January 15, 2021). "Former Easton High star swimmer is named Jill Biden's press secretary". lehighvalleylive.
  15. ^ "Biden names all-woman communications team". November 30, 2020.
  16. ^ "White House Announces New Chief Floral Designer, Hedieh Ghaffarian". whitehouse.gov. September 17, 2015 – via National Archives.
  17. ^ "White House hires first woman executive chef". NBC News.