President Elect Obama has named 3 Asian Americans to top White House positions. They are Peter Rouse, White House Senior Adviser to the President, Chris Lu, White House Cabinet Secretary and Christina Tchen, White House Office of Public Liaison.
Peter Rouse, White House Senior Adviser to the President
Peter M. Rouse, Chief of Staff to Senator Barack Obama (D-IL), served as chief of staff to members of the United States Congress for more than thirty years. Before joining Senator Obama in December 2004, he was chief of staff to former Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD). He also served a s chief of staff to Rep. Dick Durbin (1984/85) and Lt. Governor Terry Miller of Alaska (1979-83).
Mr. Rouse, as Sen. Obama's chief of staff, was part of a small group of advisors who helped Sen. Obama through the process that led to his decision to run for president in 2008. Mr. Rouse received a BA from Colby College, a MA from the London School of Economics, and a MPA from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Chris Lu, White House Cabinet Secretary
Chris Lu is the Cabinet Secretary-designate for President-elect Barack Obama's White House staff. Lu served as Barack Obama's legislative director in his Senate office during the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign. He is now the executive director of the Obama-Biden Transition Project. As cabinet secretary, he will serve as the liaison between the White House and the heads of executive departments.
Lu is the son of Eileen and Chien-Yang Lu, both of whom were undergraduate students in the U.S. from Taiwan during the 1960's. He was born in New Jersey and raised in Maryland. Lu graduated from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University in 1988, where he was the senior news editor of the Daily Princetonian, and later attended Harvard Law School, where he was one of Obama's classmates. He began his career as a clerk for the Honorable Robert E. Cowen of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (1991-1992), and then worked as a litigation attorney at Sidley Austin in Washington, D.C. (1992-1997). He then served as deputy counsel to Rep. Henry A. Waxman on the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the House of Representatives and was an adviser to Senator John Kerry during the 2004 presidential campaign before being hired by Obama.
Christina Tchen, White House Office of Public Liaison
Christina M. Tchen is a litigator and the White House Director-designate of Public Liaison chosen by Barack Obama. Tchen also serves several boards for organization involved in public legal and social policy: the Chicago Bar Foundation; Board of Field Foundation of Illinois(chair), Chicago Public Library (trustee) and the Chinese American Service League.
Tchen has served on the Judicial Nominations Commission for the Northern District of Illinois and has served in several leadership positions with the American Bar Association Section of Litigation.
Tchen has broad litigation experience at all levels of the state and federal courts. She has represented companies, officers and directors in shareholder class and derivative actions, and she has also handled a wide range of commercial, intellectual property, and employment-related litigation. Tchen also has 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.