Obama picks Desiree Rogers as social secretary

desiree rogers as social secretaryBarack Obama is taking another Chicagoan to Washington D.C.

Desiree Rogers, a friend of the Obamas’ will serve as White House social secretary, leaving her current job at Allstate Financial, a unit of the Northbrook-based insurance firm, where she is president of social networking.

She would be the first African-American to hold the post.

She will be the decider on who gets to come to White House parties, State dinners and other gatherings.

“Desiree is a heavy hitter — she comes with her own range of contacts from around the country,” Valerie Jarrett, a friend of Rogers’ who also will work in the White House, told the Post. “She’s close to Michelle and she knows everyone who will be working in the West Wing, so she will be able to create a synergy.”

Rogers has long been part of the Obamas’ inner circle. She was once married to John Rogers, a close friend of President-elect Obama’s, who played basketball with Michelle Obama‘s brother Craig Robinson at Princeton.

She has an MBA from Harvard University and, until last summer, was president of Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas, which supplies natural gas to consumers in Chicago.