Even the First Lady's Chief of Staff Gets Nervous

Her advice: Get over it. 

More

Tina Tchen, the Obama insider who serves as a senior White House policy adviser and chief of staff to the first lady, has joined the chorus of powerful women who want their younger counterparts to quit being professionally timid. In an interview with Linda Douglass at The Atlantic's Women of Washington event on Wednesday, she advised women to get over worries about being rebuked for offering their opinions in meetings. "I probably sound like Sheryl Sandberg," she chuckled. Even if Lean In isn't your thing, the clip is worth watching to master her charming, head-thrown-back way of laughing.

Tchen's other advice? "It is hard to self-promote. It is hard to learn that sometimes within your own office, you've got to throw some sharp elbows. It's hard for young people to learn, of both genders, how to take care of your own career, and believe in yourself, and promote yourself."

Unfortunately, she wasn't able to offer a road map for making it to the White House. "I can't really tell you how to meet some guy with big ears and a funny name when nobody knows who is, and then he turns out to be president of the United States," she said.  

Jump to comments

Emma Green is the assistant managing editor of TheAtlantic.com, where she also oversees the National Channel and writes about religion and culture.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Video

Just In