Obama named first Associate Dean of Student Services
Position will build on volunteerism work begun by students Michelle Obama, executive director of the leadership-training organization Public Allies Chicago, has been named Associate Dean of Student Services and Director of the University Community Service Center. Her appointment will begin in September.
Reporting to the Dean of Student Services, Obama will coordinate the University's efforts to make available to students a wide range of service opportunities in the communities around the University as well as throughout the city.
"Michelle understands the Hyde Park community and the world of public service, and her extensive experience in these areas will support and enhance the current efforts by students in these areas," said Arthur Sussman, General Counsel and Vice President for Administration. "She will help our students continue the range of work that has made volunteerism one of the most important extracurricular activities on campus."
Obama's hiring is a result of recommendations made by the Faculty-Student Committee on Volunteerism, chaired by Harold Richman, Director of the Chapin Hall Center for Children and the Hermon Dunlop Smith Professor in the School of Social Service Administration. The committee was itself a response to students' widespread interest in volunteer opportunities and community service and the extensive work in these areas by the student-run University Community Service Center.
Obama has been executive director of Public Allies Chicago since 1991. Public Allies Chicago provides leadership training and development to young adults, ages 18 to 30, who are interested in pursuing careers in the public sector. The program provides 40 participants with a 10-month apprenticeship opportunity working in a not-for-profit organization or government agency in Chicago.
A native of Chicago, Obama received her B.A. in 1985 from Princeton and her J.D. in 1988 from Harvard. Prior to joining Public Allies, she was assistant commissioner in the city of Chicago's department of planning and development from 1992 to 1993 and assistant to the mayor from 1991 to 1992. She previously was an attorney with the Chicago law firm of Sidley & Austin.