Northwestern Events Calendar


West Wingers: Stories from Inside the Obama White House

When: Friday, November 9, 2018
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM CT

Where: Norris University Center, Northwestern Room, 1999 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Center for Civic Engagement   (847) 467-3047

Group: Center for Civic Engagement

Co-Sponsor: Department of Political Science

Category: Global & Civic Engagement


West Wingers: Stories from the Dream Chasers, Change Makers, and Hope Creators Inside the Obama White House – Book Excerpts, Panel & Signing with contributors Heather Foster (SESP '03), Darienne Page & Michael Strautmanis. Co-sponsored by the Department of Political Science.

About the Book:
Through moving and revealing personal stories, eighteen Obama staffers take readers deep inside the presidency, offering intimate accounts of what they witnessed during their time in the White House, and what they accomplished there. Each story exposes the human side of government—staffers devoting themselves to the issues that have defined their lives.

West Wingers features the stories of women, people of color, immigrants, LGBT individuals, people with disabilities, and veterans, celebrating the diversity of the Obama White House. From the triumphs of Obamacare and marriage equality to the tragedy of the Charleston shooting, West Wingers tells the story of the Obama presidency through the men and women who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to support his vision for America.

More than just a history, it is an inspiring call to arms for public service, a manifesto for the power of committed public servants to make real change, and a powerful testament to what true diversity, inclusivity, and progress can look like in America.

About the Panelists:
Heather Foster (SESP ’03) served as both director of African American outreach and advisor in the White House Office of Public Engagement. Before joining the White House, she served as the policy and outreach advisor at the Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the Department of Education.

Darienne Page, a former U.S. Army noncommissioned officer and an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran, joined the 2008 Obama campaign as a volunteer, working her way up from the campaign mailroom to become the first West Wing receptionist in the Obama White House. Later she served as director of veterans, wounded warriors, and military families outreach in the Office of Public Engagement, acting as a liaison between the White House and the veterans community.

Michael Strautmanis has known the Obamas for more than twenty-five years, starting when he joined Sidley & Austin where Mrs. Obama was working as a young lawyer. Later, he served as chief counsel on Barack Obama’s Senate staff. Strautmanis continued to be a close aide to the President throughout his first term, serving as counselor for strategic engagement, deputy assistant to the President, and chief of staff to senior advisor Valerie Jarrett. He is currently Chief Engagement Officer for the Obama Foundation.

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