Barack and Michelle Obama
Michelle Obama is the quintessential working Sister, juggling three schedules daily — homework, piano and dance lessons and sports activities for her two young daughters, her own busy schedule as an executive at the University of Chicago Hospitals and, just to keep things interesting, the national schedule for her husband, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL).

Sen. Obama has just completed a high-profile freshman year in the Senate, and while the outside world speculates about his future political ambitions, his family has experienced its own high-profile year of transition. During this year, his tall, pretty, and always pragmatic wife shepherded the family through the types of life changes that are enough to upset the equilibrium of the most sanguine household.

In May, she was promoted to vice president for community and external affairs at the University of Chicago Hospitals, making her responsible for all programs and initiatives that involve the relationships between the hospitals and the community as well as management of the hospitals’ business diversity program. “So often positions like community affairs are just marginalized positions that are for show,” she says. “When I was hired here, one of the things I told the president was that hiring me can’t be your strategy,” she says, insisting that the hospitals invest in the surrounding community. “We have an obligation to ensure that we use our resources on behalf of our neighborhood and our city.”

Read More in the March issue of Ebony — on newsstands now!

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