Susan Sher to step down as Michelle Obama's top aide

Washington, Nov 17 (ANI): The US first lady Michelle Obama's office has announced that chief of staff Susan Sher would head back to Chicago after January 1 next year.

Sher, who was vice president for legal and government affairs at the University of Chicago Medical Center before moving to Washington DC, had joined the White House as a member of the Counsel's Office in January 2009, and moved to the East Wing in mid-2009 after Obama's first chief of staff, Jackie Norris, left to become a senior adviser to the Corporation for National and Community Service.

According to the Washington Post, Sher was the first lady's colleague during their days in Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley's (D) office in the early 1990s.

"Susan has been both a colleague and a dear friend for decades, and I have been grateful every day for her leadership and wise counsel in Washington. I also very much appreciate her generosity in staying longer than she initially planned, spending so many months away from her family in Chicago, to help me build my office in the East Wing. I wish her all the best," Michelle Obama said in a statement announcing the change.

Sher is also close to President Obama's senior adviser Valerie Jarrett from Chicago, and her departure is just one of several by the president and first lady's associates from the Midwest as the Obama presidency approaches the first term half-way mark, the paper said.

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama also praised Sher for her "tremendous skill and dedication to the first lady's office, as well as my Administration's outreach to the Jewish Community and our efforts to pass health care reform" and thanked her for her services.

According to a White House official, Sher would stay until the first lady's office, which is considering on a wide array of internal and external candidates for the post, finds a suitable replacement.

No word yet on what Sher will do back in Chicago professionally, though the move means she'll be able to rejoin her husband, Neil Cohen, Cook County Circuit Court judge who stayed in the Midwest when she moved to Washington, the paper added. (ANI)

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