Where Are They Now: How 11 Former Obama White House Staffers Moved On

Lauren Victoria Burke
First lady Michelle Obama (right) speaks to female leaders as then-White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers looks on in the Diplomatic Room of the White House on March 19, 2009, in Washington, D.C.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Eight years go by fast. Many substantial careers have been boosted by the experience of working in the White House for the first African-American president of the United States. The historic importance of President Barack Obama's time in office was always a certainty. What is never certain is how a career may turn out as a result of the experience.

While many of the African-American members of the Obama administration who started at the White House in early 2009 have moved into higher-profile spaces, others have maintained a relatively low profile at consulting firms and in other forms of public service. Below is a look at where 11 African-American staffers were in 2009 and where they are today.


Lauren Victoria Burke is a Washington, D.C.-based political reporter who writes the Crew of 42 blog. She appears regularly on NewsOne Now with Roland Martin on TV One. Follow her on Twitter

Reggie Love, Then

President Barack Obama shares a laugh with former White House aide Reggie Love as they watch the U.S. Senior Men’s National Team and Brazil play during a pre-Olympic exhibition basketball game at the Verizon Center on July 16, 2012, in Washington, D.C.
Leslie E. Kossoff-Pool/Getty Images

A graduate of Duke and the Wharton business school, Reggie Love enjoyed a high-profile position as President Obama’s “body man,” a role he filled 2009-2011.

Reggie Love, Now

Reggie Love is interviewed on Good Morning America Feb. 4, 2015.
Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images

Love is now a partner and vice president at Ron Transatlantic Advisors.

Bill Burton, Then

Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton speaks during a press briefing at the White House on June 21, 2010, in Washington, D.C.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

As a member of the Obama administration, Bill Burton was the deputy White House press secretary under Bob Gibbs from 2009 to February 2011.  

Bill Burton, Now

Bill Burton

In 2011 Burton co-founded the super PAC Priorities USA Action. In 2013 Burton was hired by Global Strategy Group as a political consultant. Burton is now a political consultant as the managing director of SKDKnickerbocker in California.

Eric Holder, Then

Attorney General Eric Holder (right) and President Barack Obama attend the 32nd annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol on May 15, 2013, in Washington, D.C.
Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images

One of the most popular members of the Obama administration in the black community was Eric Holder, President Obama’s first U.S. attorney general. 

Eric Holder, Now

Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder arrives onstage during the second day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia July 26, 2016.
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

After serving as the nation’s top law-enforcement officer for six years, Holder returned to his old job as a partner at the law firm Covington & Burling LLP.

Lisa Jackson, Then

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson addresses the White House Tribal Nations Conference at the Department of Interior Dec. 5, 2012, in Washington, D.C.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Lisa Jackson served in the Obama administration as the administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency 2009-2013.  

Lisa Jackson, Now

Lisa Jackson speaks at the general session luncheon sponsored by Apple for the 44th Annual Legislative Conference Sept. 25, 2014, in Washington, D.C.
Earl Gibson III/Getty Images

Jackson started at Apple in June 2013 to oversee the computer company’s environmental policy. She reports directly to CEO Tim Cook.

Melody Barnes, Then

White House Domestic Policy Adviser Melody Barnes delivers remarks during the opening session of the White House's forum on health care reform March 5, 2009, in Washington, D.C.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Melody Barnes served as director of the Domestic Policy Council Director before leaving the White House in January 2012. 

Melody Barnes, Now

Melody Barnes with Education Secretary Arne Duncan (left) and Marland Buckner Jr. at a private reception for Voto Latino’s 10th Anniversary Celebration March 4, 2015, in Washington, D.C.
Larry French/Getty Images

Barnes has since moved on to take a position at the Aspen Institute as chair of its Forum for Community Solutions.  Barnes is also on the board of directors for Booz Allen Hamilton.

Joshua DuBois, Then

Joshua DuBois, director of the White House Office of Faith Based Initiatives, looks on as President Barack Obama signs the proclamation marking the National Day of Prayer in the Oval Office of the White House May 7, 2009.
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Joshua DuBois was director of the White House Office of Faith Based Initiatives.  

Joshua DuBois, Now

Joshua DuBois speaks at a White House screening of the History movie Roots at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building May 17, 2016, in Washington, D.C.
Paul Morigi/Getty Images for History

DuBois is now the CEO of the Values Partnerships consulting firm. The firm links companies and nonprofits with minority and religious entities.

Desiree Rogers, Then

First lady Michelle Obama (right) speaks to female leaders as then-White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers looks on in the Diplomatic Room of the White House on March 19, 2009, in Washington, D.C.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Former White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers served one year in the position, beginning in 2009 and leaving in 2010.  

Mona Sutphen, Then

Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy Mona Sutphen looks on as President Barack Obama talks on the phone with California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger while in the motorcade during a trip to Richmond, Va., Sept. 29, 2010.
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

From 2009 to 2011, Mona Sutphen worked as the White House deputy chief of staff for policy. She had also served on the National Security Council during the Clinton administration. 

Mona Sutphen, Now

Mona Sutphen (center), with Hicham Enhaili (left) and Asanka Pathiraja, attends a gathering in New York City April 1, 2016.
Andrew Toth/Getty Images for Baroque Access

After leaving the White House, Sutphen became managing director at UBS AG and is now a partner at Macro Advisory Partners LLP, New York, a global consulting firm.

Desiree Rogers, Now

Desiree Rogers attends Ebony magazine’s Power 100 Gala at the Beverly Hilton Hotel Dec. 2, 2015, in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Earl Gibson III/Getty Images

After leaving the White House, Rogers became the CEO of the Johnson Publishing Co. and ran Ebony and Jet. This year a private equity firm, Clear View Group, based in Texas, bought Ebony and Jet. Rogers is now CEO of Fashion Fair Cosmetics.

Corey Ealons, Then

Corey Ealons
Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images

Corey Ealons worked as director of specialty media at the White House, advising senior staff on strategic communications issues, from 2009 to August 2010.  

Corey Ealons, Now

Corey Ealons
Fox News

For the last six years, Ealons has worked at Vox Global, a global strategic communications firm.

Michael Blake, Then

Michael Blake
Twitter Screenshot

After working as President Obama’s Iowa deputy political director during the 2008 presidential campaign, Michael Blake became the associate director of public engagement and deputy associate director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs at the White House.  

Michael Blake, Now

New York State Assemblyman Michael Blake speaks during a press conference at City Hall Jan. 15, 2016, in New York City.
Mike Pont/WireImage

In 2014 Blake was elected to the New York Assembly, representing the 79th District, which covers parts of the New York City borough of the Bronx.

Will Jawando, Then

Will Jawando
Michael Rubenstein / for NBC News

Will Jawando worked at the White House as the associate director of the Office of Public Engagement January 2010-April 2011 and then worked at the Department of Education as the deputy director of strategic partnerships for a year before leaving in 2012. 

Will Jawando, Now

Will Jawando

Jawando ran for Congress in Maryland's 8th Congressional District to replace Rep. Chris van Hollen, who ran for the Senate. Though Jawando was defeated, he won the endorsements of Reps. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) in the Democratic primary, and he is widely viewed as someone who will be an elected official in the future.

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