From scheduler to international ambassador, the Black women of President Barack Obama's Cabinet bring with them an array of talent and experience. These five women have drawn on talents gained from the past and enter the White House ready to get the job done. Standing behind President Obama, they don't live in his shadow but rather help to lay the blueprint to the path he is taking.
Here's a look at these exceptional Black women and their efforts in diversity:
Dr. Susan E. Rice, Ambassador to the United Nations
Special expertise in problems caused by weak and failed states, global poverty and transnational security threats... Top diplomat for African issues during the 1998 terrorist bombings of embassies in Tanzania and Kenya... Under former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, Rice was youngest assistant secretary of state ever... Senior foreign policy adviser to the Obama-Biden campaign. In 2007, was in favor of authorizing U.S. military action against Sudan if the genocide in Darfur continued... Director for international organizations and peacekeeping followed by special assistant to the president and senior director for African affairs under then President Bill Clinton.
Cassandra Quinn Butts, Deputy White House Counsel
In her role, Butss has a focus on domestic policy and ethics, has expertise in civil-rights issues, domestic policy, healthcare and education. She met President Obama while they were both students standing in line filling out financial-aid forms at Harvard Law School. She did litigation and policy work for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and was an election observer in the 2000 Zimbabwe parliamentary elections. Ms. Butts also protested apartheid during her undergraduate college years at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Lisa Perez Jackson, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency
Ms. Jackson is the first Black person to hold this post, she is a American chemical engineer who previously served as commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. Under her former commissioner title, led a staff of almost 3,000 professionals who served the purpose of protecting, sustaining and enhancing water, air and land in New Jersey as well as preserving the state's natural resources. With a special focus on traditionally underrepresented communities such as Camden, N.J., led compliance sweeps, as the effects of pollution on public health had been neglected in these areas. She launched environmental initiative following multicultural outreach efforts to inform and involve community residents and businesses in New Jersey. She was also the third woman and first Black woman to serve as chief of staff to New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine, the second most powerful position in state government
Desirée Glapion Rogers, White House Social Secretary
Rogers is the first Black person to serve in this function. Rogers, along with three other women from traditionally underrepresented groups, quit the board of the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art in protest of the museum's slow pace on diversity issues. Rogers became the first Black woman to be president of both Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas in Chicago in 2004. In July 2008, was hired by Allstate Financial to run a new social-networking initiative. Rogers has now left the Obama administration and doing her thing as CEO of Johnson Publishing which publishes Ebony, Essence and Jet.