Michelle Robinson Obama
January 17, 1964, in Chicago, Illinois
Michelle and Barack Obama reside in the White House.
After graduating from Harvard Law School, Mrs. Obama worked as a corporate lawyer for several years before changing paths to a career in public service. She founded the Chicago chapter of Public Allies, an AmeriCorps program that prepares young people for public service, and later worked for the University of Chicago as an associate dean of student services. During the 2008 campaign, Mrs. Obama traveled extensively around the country promoting her husband’s presidential candidacy. As an energetic member of the campaign team, Mrs. Obama gave speeches to thousands, but also found time to host intimate roundtable discussions with working women and military spouses. She and Barack have two daughters, Malia and Sasha. When Barack Obama was elected to his first term, Mrs. Obama acknowledged that upon entering the White House, “My first job in all honesty is going to continue to be mom-in-chief.” In addition to her primary role as mother, however, Mrs. Obama also committed to promoting policy that supports “working women and families, particularly military families.”
Mrs. Obama worked tirelessly during her husband’s two terms to promote children’s health and fitness across America. She launched the Let’s Move! initiative to bring together community leaders, educators, health professionals, and parents in a nationwide effort to tackle the challenge of childhood obesity, with the ultimate goal of solving the epidemic of childhood obesity within a generation.
In 2011 Mrs. Obama collaborated with Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden to launch Joining Forces, another nationwide initiative aimed at providing American service members and their families additional opportunities and support. In 2014 Mrs. Obama launched the Reach Higher Initiative, an effort to inspire young people across America to take charge of their future by completing their education past high school, whether at a professional training program, a community college, or a four-year college or university. And in 2015 Mrs. Obama joined President Obama to launch Let Girls Learn, a U.S. government-wide initiative to help girls around the world go to school and stay in school.
Regarding her priorities as first lady, Mrs. Obama has stated, “My first priority will always be to make sure that our girls are healthy and grounded. Then I want to help other families get the support they need, not just to survive, but to thrive. Policies that support families aren’t political issues. They’re personal. They’re the causes I carry with me every single day.”
“Our future as an innovative country depends on ensuring that everyone has access to the arts and to cultural opportunity…But the intersection of creativity and commerce is about more than economic stimulus, it’s also about who we are as people. The President and I want to ensure that all children have access to great works of art at museums. We want them to have access to great poets and musicians in theaters around the country, to arts education in their schools and community workshops.” (“Reinvesting in Arts Education: Winning America’s Future Through Creative Schools,” May 2011)