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03/29/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Desiree Rogers On Managing the Highest-Profile Social Scene

She ran a billion-dollar utility company in Chicago and now is the most influential event planner on the planet, a woman empowered to use 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to set the cultural tone for the Obama era.

Desiree Rogers, 49, is the White House's glamorous new social secretary, a title that belies the magnitude of the job. She is responsible for arranging all the high-profile ceremonies and dinners for the first couple, and she has the power to summon the world's top cultural icons on short notice.

No detail escapes her eye. She says she is planning for the first time to ask the public to sign up on the Internet for the annual White House Easter Egg Roll instead of forcing 36,000 people to wait in line and she wants to have a regular online lottery to get ordinary Americans to state dinners. While her responsibilities are different from those she

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