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The Five Chicago People Central to Obama’s Presidency

Six years in, Michelle and Barack Obama still rely on a contingent of ex-Chicagoans.

Valerie Jarrett

57, senior adviser
The Obamas’ closest confidante has been by the presidential family’s side since she hired Michelle to work for Mayor Richard Daley in 1991.

Arne Duncan

59, U.S. secretary of education
The next task for this former CEO of CPS: make early childhood education a nationwide reality.

Tina Tchen

58, FLOTUS chief of staff
Tchen spent 13 years representing public agencies like the Chicago Housing Authority before she was appointed chief of staff in 2011.

Sam Kass

33, top chef
This former Avec chef leads the First Lady’s healthy foods initiative.

Pete Souza

59, POTUS photog
This former Trib photographer documents all the First Family’s big moments.



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