After a tumultuous tenure as head of Time’s Up, Tina Tchen has reunited with the Obamas.
The former Obama administration staffer has joined the Obama Foundation as executive vice president as well as chief strategy and impact officer. Her work will include overseeing the grassroots educational Girls Opportunity Alliance program, for which she has been serving as a senior advisor over the past year.
Tchen, a former partner in Skadden Arps’ Chicago office and an active member of multiple boards in the city, served in the Obama White House for all eight years, starting as the first director of the White House Office of Public Engagement before becoming the first lady’s chief of staff. She also led the White House Council on Women and Girls as executive director throughout the president’s two terms.
In January 2018, in the wake of the burgeoning #MeToo movement that was galvanized by the revelation of rampant sexual harassment and assault allegations by Harvey Weinstein and other Hollywood power players, female entertainment industry leaders formed Time’s Up to fight gender-based inequity and misconduct in the workplace. The nonprofit’s first president and CEO, Lisa Borders, resigned in February 2019 after her son was accused of sexual misconduct, and in October of that year Tchen, who had co-founded its adjacent Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, was tapped as the new head of the organization.
But last August, after The Washington Post revealed details of Tchen and other Time’s Up leadership’s communications with Andrew Cuomo and his staff advising the then-New York governor on his response to sexual harassment allegations against him, Tchen resigned as well.
In response to a request for a direct comment regarding Tchen’s history at Time’s Up, an Obama Foundation spokesperson issued the following statement: “Tina has spent a career fighting for positive change for women. Her life’s work has been geared toward making workplaces fair and equitable and safer for women. She believes her work on behalf of women is not done and she has a lot more to offer. The Foundation can benefit from her experience and she will work to ensure that the Foundation stays focused on its strategic mission.”