Speaking on NBC's "Rock Center With Brian Williams" after presenting a story about a non-profit group in her native Arkansas, Clinton, 31, told Williams she has shied away from the public eye since her father became US president when she was aged 13.
"For most of my life, I did deliberately lead a private life and inadvertently led a public life," she said, according to Politico.
"[Rodham] recently had been cajoling me and challenging me to do more with my life, to lead a more of purposely public life, that being Chelsea Clinton had happened to me and that I had a responsibility to do something with that asset and opportunity," she said.
Rodham died Nov. 2, aged 92. The Clintons paid tribute to her at the time, describing the "remarkable" woman as "a warm, generous and strong woman; an intellectual; a woman who told a great joke and always got the joke."
Clinton is contributing to NBC's "Making a Difference" series, which runs on its nightly national news program, covering the lives of volunteers who give their time up to help fellow Americans.
Clinton also works with her father's Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative.