Looking for change, Michelle Obama turned to longtime mentor and friend Susan Sher to serve as her chief of staff, the Chicago Tribune reports. They met when Obama dropped off a resume at Chicago’s City Hall; Sher, then the city’s No. 2 lawyer, was immediately impressed by the younger woman. Now, Sher will be handling Obama’s affairs as she begins “thinking more strategically” about her role as first lady.
After City Hall, the two worked together at the University of Chicago medical center. Lunching together, “we'd always get to the work issues, but when we had time, we'd talk about things that were most important to us,” Sher says. “I just like the way Susan thinks, in broad strokes,” Obama notes. The two also worked alongside Valerie Jarrett, now an adviser to the president—creating a built-in “support group” in Washington, Sher says.