First Lady Michelle Obama, a lawyer and administrator, is an advocate for working parents, military families and national service.

Why you should listen

Michelle Obama's life as First Lady of the United States is informed by her early life, growing up as the daughter of a pump operator for the Chicago water department. Though money was tight, her parents emphasized education and possibility for their two brilliant children. Both kids went to Princeton (her older brother, Craig Robinson, was a bond trader, then become a much-respected basketball coach at Brown and now Oregon State University); Michelle went on to Harvard Law School, and returned to Chicago to do corporate law at the firm where she met her future husband, Barack Obama. She left corporate law to become a civil servant, working in planning, social outreach and administration with the city of Chicago, AmeriCorps and the University of Chicago Medical Center.

Today, Michelle Obama's personal focus is on raising her own two children, Malia and Sasha, in the glare of White House life. Her more outward focus, as First Lady, also revolves around issues of work-life balance; she's a passionate supporter of military families and of working mothers. She's helping to lead the drive for national service, encouraging Americans to volunteer in their own communities. (And of course, she's become an international fashion icon too.)

Michelle Obama’s TED talks

Michelle Obama on the TED Blog

News

TIME Magazine reveals the 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2013

April 18, 2013

Ten years ago, TIME Magazine inaugurated its list of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.” In the interceding decade, the unveiling of the annual list has become an anticipated event with readers ready to gorge on glossy articles and debate the inclusion of controversial inductees. Today, the magazine posted its 10th list of influence, […]

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Quotes from Michelle Obama

Communities and countries and ultimately the world are only as strong as the health of their women.
Michelle Obama
Elizabeth G. Anderson School • 574K views May 2009
Inspiring, Persuasive