CHICAGO –Former White House social secretary Desiree Rogers, who resigned months after an uninvited couple crashed the Obama administration’s first state dinner, was named Tuesday as chief executive officer at Johnson Publishing Company Inc.
The Chicago-based company, which publishes Ebony and Jet magazines, is the largest black owned and operated publisher.
Rogers, 51, had been consulting for Johnson Publishing for two months and took over daily operations on Tuesday, according to a company statement.
“Desiree has a proven track record of successful business leadership,” said Johnson Publishing CEO Linda Johnson Rice, who remained chairman. “She is a longstanding confidant and a savvy businesswoman.”
Rogers is a New Orleans native whose experience includes director of the Illinois Lottery, president of the Chicago area Peoples Gas and North Shores Gas and president of social networking at Allstate Financial.
Rogers, who has an MBA from Harvard University, stepped down from the White House position in February, months after Michaele and Tareq Salahi crashed the Obama administration’s first state dinner. Rogers faced criticism for her role in the embarrassing incident.
Rogers didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment through a company spokeswoman. “I am humbled to have such an incredible opportunity. I consider it an honor to help continue the 68-year legacy of such a phenomenal company and its iconic brands,” said Rogers.
The New Orleans native received her bachelor’s degree in political science from Wellesley College and earned a master of business administration degree from Harvard University’s Business School. She has served on numerous non-profit and corporate boards including the Museum of Science and Industry, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, Equity Residential, a REIT and the Northwestern Memorial Foundation.