The celebrity-driven advocacy group Time's Up has named Tina Tchen, the former First Lady Michelle Obama's former chief of staff, as its new president and CEO.
Time's Up was born out of the #MeToo movement after allegations against Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Matt Lauer and Brett Ratner.made headlines. Since then, the nonprofit has expanded its work to to fight sexual harassment and abuse beyond the entertainment industry
“I’ve been living these issues my life,” Tchen told Gayle King and co-anchors on CBS This Morning. “I’ve been a single working mom my entire career, working in places like law firms and the White House so I’ve seen the issues that women confront in workplaces. And I’ve been working on gender equity issues for over three decades,” said the attorney.
The 63-year old Tchen replaces Lisa Borders, who resigned from the chief executive role earlier this year after sexual misconduct allegations were made against her son.
A number of celebrity supporters, including Shonda Rhimes, Reese Witherspoon, Eva Longoria, Natalie Portman and Brie Larson, helped launch the Time’s Up initiative, according to Variety.
Melinda Gates and Tchen's former boss, Michelle Obama, have helped the organization raise a war chest of #24 million to be used to provide counseling and legal help to those women who don't have the resources to pay for that assistance.
“The women who are celebrities have come to this understanding that their celebrity gives them a platform and an ability to draw attention to an issue, and they’ve been very intentional about how they use that to support low-income women who wouldn’t otherwise get that attention,” Tchen said. “I give them enormous credit for doing that.”
To see folks like Jessica Parker, Natalie Portman, Ava DuVernay and Kerry Washington speaking out about such injustices,Tchen added, “touches (people) in a different way.”
Following her exit from the White House, she served on the diversity and inclusion task force for the Recording Academy, which presents the Grammys, and an adviser to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
To assume her new post on Nov. 1, Tchen leave her current position as lead of the law firm Buckley LLP’s workplace culture practice.