2014 50 Most Beautiful

Monique Dorsainvil
Monique Dorsainvil
Hometown: 
Woodland Hills, Calif.
Age: 
27
Relationship Status: 
In a relationship
Party Affiliation: 
Democratic

It takes a certain kind of person to hitchhike from Paris to Geneva in the dead of winter, but Monique Dorsainvil did it when she was only 18. The Golden State jetsetter has traveled to more than 25 countries, and she’s not stopping yet.

But it can be hard to find the time for globetrotting when you're the director of planning and events for public engagement and intergovernmental affairs for the White House. Dorsainvil focuses on long-term strategic planning and manages high-stakes events for the president and first lady.  

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“I'm in love with my job,” Dorsainvil says. “I love the people I work with. … [My boss] Valerie Jarrett is a brilliant leader, fierce, very smart, someone I like to model myself after.”

Dorsainvil studied global health and gender studies at Emory University in Atlanta and says she often considers the intersection of race, class, gender and sexuality, how they affect the way people perceive each other. 

“Some people have a very specific image of what a gay person is and I think we need to shatter that,” she says with a smile. 

Dorsainvil came to Washington as an intern at the White House and says she’s been lucky to be a part of historical events such as the repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. Another unforgettable moment for Dorsainvil was President Obama’s response when she mentioned her girlfriend.

“When I said ‘partner’ he did not even flinch,” she exclaims. “He didn’t even blink. He just looked at me and said, ‘Oh, what does she do?’ That was his first question, and to me, that meant the world.”

When she’s not spending time behind-the-scenes with the commander-in-chief, Dorsainvil keeps in shape by biking and occasionally rock climbing at the gym. She also loves visiting art exhibits and mentoring summer congressional interns as a volunteer with the Gay and Lesbian Victory Firm. But you’re most likely to find Dorsainvil plugging away at work at her desk.

“The fact that we work really closely with the public is really amazing,” she says with a serious look. “It helps you stay really honest and accountable. It drives you. Our feet are to the fire. It’s also a really scary feeling, but it drives me.”

— Ashley Perks. Bailey Hayek contributed.