Smoot will replace Desiree Rogers when she steps down next month. Smoot is a big Democratic donor and last served as chief of staff for U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk.

“I am humbled and excited to take on the role of White House Social Secretary and support the Obama administration in a different capacity,” Smoot said in a statement. “Over the last year, I have had the honor of building relationships in the international community through my work at USTR, and I am looking forward to implementing this experience at the White House.”

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Rogers said she stepped down to explore opportunities in the corporate world but she also came under fire last November after Virginia socialites Michaele and Tareq Salahi crashed the White House's first state dinner.

Republicans on the House Homeland Security Committee demanded that Rogers testify as to how they gained entry into the event. 

But White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said in December that Rogers would not testify at hearings due to separation of powers. 


Smoot, who served as the 2008 Obama campaign's finance director, comes aboard with Capitol Hill experience as well, having worked for Democratic Sens. Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Connected Commerce Council - Biden faces reporters as his agenda teeters Biden hits one-year mark in dire straits 'All or nothing' won't bolster American democracy: Reform the filibuster and Electoral Count Act MORE (Nev.), Charles SchumerChuck SchumerDemocrats calls on Biden administration to ease entry to US for at-risk Afghans Predictions of disaster for Democrats aren't guarantees of midterm failure Voting rights and Senate wrongs MORE (N.Y.), Dick DurbinDick DurbinManchin, Collins leading talks on overhauling election law, protecting election officials Swalwell slams House Republican for touting funding in bill she voted down Schumer opted for modest rules reform after pushback from moderates MORE (Ill.) and Jay RockefellerJohn (Jay) Davison RockefellerDemocrats look to scale back Biden bill to get it passed Humorless politics a sad sign of our times Bottom Line MORE (W.Va.)

"Julianna Smoot brings extraordinary organization and people skills to the role, and sharp attention to detail – all attributes critical to the highly complex responsibilities of the White House Social Secretary," said Susan Sher, First Lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaJill Biden adds to communications team in lead-up to midterm elections Michelle Obama: 'Treat fear as a challenge' Barack Obama wishes a happy 58th birthday to 'best friend' Michelle MORE's chief of staff.