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Tina Tchen      

President & CEO of the “Time's Up” Legal Defense Fund; Former Chief of Staff to Michelle Obama; Former Executive Director of the White House Council on Women & Girls

Tina Tchen is a lawyer. Tchen served as Assistant to President Barack Obama and Chief of Staff to the First Lady Michelle Obama from 2011 to 2017. In the Obama Administration, she also served as the Executive Director for the Council on Women and Girls, leading the first-ever White House Summit on Working Families and the first-ever United State of Women Summit. The council was created by President Obama in March 2009 to ensure that all parts of the federal government addressed the needs of women and girls. Previously she was the Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement.

Before joining the White House, Tchen was a partner in corporate litigation at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. Tchen litigated high profile cases involving shareholder disputes, securities law, mergers and acquisitions, constitutional law, insurance, real estate, and contract matters. She also represented public agencies in state and federal class actions, including the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, the Illinois Department of Public Aid, and the Chicago Housing Authority.

A high-powered lawyer, Tina’s career accomplishments have established her as a powerful advocate for gender equality. Tina is actively involved with the Time’s Up initiative, where 300 prominent women in the entertainment world have banded together to create a legal defense fund which aims to support women dealing with sexual harassment across all industries. Ms. Tchen co-founded the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, which is administered by the National Women’s Law Center, and has raised over $22 million to connect victims of workplace sexual harassment with lawyers. In March 2019, Tina Tchen was hired to investigate the Southern Poverty Law Center's "workplace culture" after allegations of sexual and racial harassment led to the firing of the SPLC's co-founder and resignation of its president.

Tchen has received many awards in recognition of her work, including the Leadership Award from the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois (1999); “Women of Achievement” award from the Anti-Defamation League (1996); and Chicago Lawyer “Person of the Year” (1994). She has also been recognized as a Business Leader of Color by Chicago United (2005). She was selected for inclusion in Chambers USA guide to America's Leading Lawyers for Business (2008) and The Best Lawyers in America (2009). In 2011, she was honored with the Harvard College Women's Leadership Professional Achievement Award.

Tchen serves on numerous strategic advisory boards for organizations, businesses, and nonprofits, including the U.S. Afghan Women’s Council, Quantum Leaps, Inc., Civic Nation, the United State of Women, Women in the Service Change Initiative, and Gender Equity is Common Sense.

Tina received her J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law and her B.A. from Harvard University, where she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and an editor of The Harvard Independent.

Speech Topics

A Conversation With Tina Tchen

Tina Tchen draws from her lifetime of public service, including eight years in the Obama White House, to inspire others to realize the power of an individual to spark change and the value of diverse teams in any venture. A passionate champion for women and minority empowerment, Tina encourages young leaders to recognize their worth, take charge of their futures, and set and achieve lofty goals. From organizations to communities and college campuses, Tina proves to audiences that leadership looks like everyone, and that, no matter your race, gender, sexual orientation or creed, the corner office, the Oval Office and any other aspiration are within reach. Listeners walk away motivated to contribute toward creating a world where equality, diversity and inclusion are no longer buzzwords, but typical facts of everyday life.


Tina Tchen, Ex-Obama Aide, Will Take Over Time's Up - The New ...

The group was founded by powerful women in Hollywood in the wake of the # MeToo movement. It aims to fight sexual harassment and assault in all industries.

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