June 5th, 2009
01:50 PM ET
6 years ago

First lady names new chief of staff

The White House said Thursday the first lady had selected a new chief of staff.
The White House said Thursday the first lady had selected a new chief of staff.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - First lady Michelle Obama has brought in an old Chicago friend, Susan Sher, to replace chief of staff Jackie Norris.

The White House announced the switch late Thursday.

Norris was part of the team that led the Obama campaign to victory in the Iowa caucuses. She will now serve as a senior adviser to the Corporation for National and Community Service.

"I am grateful to President and Mrs. Obama for the opportunities and friendship they have given me over the last few years and I am looking forward to becoming an integral part of this Administration's efforts to advance the cause of national and community service," Norris said in a statement released by the White House.

In a statement, Mrs. Obama described Sher, who has been advising her on issues like health care, "as a trusted advisor, longtime mentor and friend dating back to my work at the City of Chicago and later the University of Chicago."

She also thanked Norris for building "a strong organization in the East Wing."

The first lady is slated to join President Barack Obama in Europe for the final leg of his latest overseas trip.


Filed under: Michelle Obama
soundoff (298 Responses)
  1. Joyce Becker

    Change happens, hope all are happy in their new jobs.

    June 5, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  2. Laura

    Here we go with the crony-ism...and from crooked Chicago at best! Hey, Michele, I'll be your new BFF. Maybe then I can get a governmental job too!

    June 5, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  3. Dallas Independent - thank goodness

    Aha – more Chicago machinery! Not surprised. She probably ate at the Ayers' table as well.

    June 5, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  4. Alfred E. Neumann

    Wow, stop the press...

    June 5, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  5. CARMEN

    Why is it that when there are office personnel changes in any office it is called "personnel duties change" but when it is in the White House it is called a "Shake Up"? In my company it means "business as usual". Just wondered.

    June 5, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  6. independent Jim

    A sudden and early change in a new Administration always makes you ask, "Why?". So, CNN, why didn't you dig a little deeper on this story and ask, "Why?". Headlines without good reporting only go so far...

    June 5, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  7. Independent Voter

    hope she will do as good a job as norris...

    Gob Bless President Obama, VP Biden, the First Families and "Bo"

    June 5, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  8. southerncousin

    The old Chicago machine crony system that brought us Blago, Burrus and Obama is alive & well and working to the detriment of our country.

    June 5, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  9. Fair is Fair

    Ah, yes... more cronyism.

    June 5, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  10. james

    Here we have in Michelle Obama a beautiful, accomplished woman who advances liberal values and is regularly lauded by the media.

    Then we have in Sarah Palin a beautiful, accomplished woman who advances conservative values and is regularly lambasted by the media.

    Hypocrisy much?

    When will we get to the place in our country when diversity is truly valued in our politics and our culture?

    What are we afraid of?

    June 5, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  11. Ren from Baltimore

    So why read anything nefarious into this? Ms. Norris certainly deserves time to herself, especially after that long campaign, and I'm sure the hours upon hours of the transition even to this early date.

    We need excellent people in the community service "community," so this works out for all concerned.

    June 5, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  12. SunnyD

    I am sure the Republicans are going to whine about this also!!!

    June 5, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  13. ObamaShrugged

    Guess she didn't like a better looking woman in the WH. Though it might be hard to find one that isn't.

    June 5, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  14. tiff of lithia springs

    I don't blame her. It's probably a bunch a sharks in DC. She needs someone she can trust to help her run her office.

    June 5, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  15. gary davis Harbor Oregon

    wow what else can you say . these two people are dialed in.they research everything and then make a choice. again what more can you say other than if our president or the first lady asked me to work for them . it would be an honor ..its great to have that kind of feeling .in a troubled world .
    keep moving forward and the world will follow.
    president Obama brings light and hope to a troubled world .
    be safe and enjoy the day

    June 5, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  16. young conservative from NJ is win

    Just what we need... more Chicago politicians :roll:

    June 5, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  17. EO

    That is news,?? nice to hear what my hard earned tax will be use for.

    June 5, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  18. Spelmanite08

    Good call Michelle!

    June 5, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  19. Poppy

    I don't understand why this is a surprise

    June 5, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  20. JT

    Slow news day?

    June 5, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  21. Kevin

    Sounds good.....you are doing a great job Michelle, keep up the good work.

    June 5, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  22. Johnny DC

    If I only had a penny for every CNN article about Laura Bush's chiefs of staff.

    Keep decertifying yourself as a news outlet, CNN.

    June 5, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  23. phoenix86

    Great, now thats 150,001 jobs "saved" through the Porkulus Package.

    June 5, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  24. Pat

    At least the old chief of staff was able to get on to the NBC news program while they were at the White House last week. A final send-off, perhaps?

    June 5, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  25. Osama Bin Laden

    This is ridiculous a first lady naming a chie of staff. Is she the one we voting into office? If so I'm taking my marbles and going home.

    June 5, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
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