Stephanie Valencia and Lynn Rosenthal, contributors to West Wingers, talk about the book.
The Obama White House staff invites us behind-the-scenes of history for a deeply personal and moving look at the presidency and how a president's staff can change the nation
When we elect a president, we elect with them an entire team that will join them in the West Wing to help run the country. Each of these staffers has a story to tell, and in West Wingers, Barack Obama's White House staff reveals how these extraordinary citizens shape the presidency and the nation.
In these moving and revealing personal stories, eighteen Obama staffers bring us deep inside the presidency, offering intimate accounts of how they made it to the White House, what they witnessed, and what they accomplished there. In each one we see the human face of government, staffers devoting themselves to the issues that have defined their lives. We hear from a married gay staffer pushing the president towards marriage equality; a senior aide working to implement the Affordable Care Act while battling Stage IV cancer; a hijab-wearing Muslim adviser accompanying the President to a mosque. From the triumphs of Obamacare and marriage equality to the tragedy of the Charleston shooting, this book tells the history of the Obama presidency through the men and women who worked tirelessly to support his vision for America. More than just a history though, West Wingers 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.
Stephanie Valencia is a tech policy and political strategist. She is currently Investment Partner at InvestingIn.Us, a political venture capital fund founded by Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, Paypal and Greylock Ventures, to be early stage capital for disruptive platforms and initiatives to enhance civic participation. She leads the electoral portfolio, building on more than a dozen years of experience at the highest levels of national campaigns and the federal government, and in the technology sector. In that role, she drives initiatives that bring together organizations to find ways to disrupt and create smarter approaches to campaigns, politics and engagement. A former aide to President Barack Obama at the White House and Deputy Chief of Staff to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, Valencia is among a small, valued group of advisers who joined his presidential campaign early and remained in key roles throughout most of the President’s two terms in office. She has worked at Google, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and on issues related to the Patent and Trademark Office. At the White House, Stephanie was a commissioned officer, appointed as a Special Assistant to the President. She served as Principal Deputy Director of the Office of Public Engagement and as Acting Director during a critical transition from the first term to the second, and on issues ranging from the economic recovery to immigration reform, to passage and implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
Lynn Rosenthal is the newly appointed Policy Director for Violence Against Women Initiative at the Biden Foundation. From 2009-2015, Lynn served as the first-ever White House Advisor on Violence Against Women. As a senior advisor to Vice President Biden, Lynn developed new initiatives to address sexual violence, reduce domestic violence homicides, and improve the workplace response to violence against women. She co-chaired the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault on behalf of Vice President Biden and was the key advisor on its recommendations. Lynn represented the Vice President on the White House Council on Women and Girls and co-chaired the Federal Interagency Working Group on HIV/AIDS and Violence Against Women. After her service at the White House, Lynn served as the Vice President for Strategic Partnerships at the National Domestic Violence Hotline for 18 months. From 2000-2006, Lynn was Executive Director of the National Network to End Domestic Violence where she represented state domestic violence coalitions in Congress and worked closely with corporate leaders to develop funding initiatives addressing violence against women. She served as the executive director of state domestic violence coalitions in Florida and New Mexico and as a consultant in Florida working to improve housing options for domestic violence survivors. Lynn began her work at the grassroots, serving as director of a local domestic violence shelter and rape crisis center.