Julianna Smoot

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Julianna Smoot
White House Social Secretary
In office
February 26, 2010 – March 1, 2011
PresidentBarack Obama
Preceded byDesirée Rogers
Succeeded byJeremy Bernard
Personal details
Julianna Skinner Smoot

1967 (age 51–52)
North Carolina, United States
Political partyDemocratic Party
Lon Johnson (m. 2011)
Alma materSmith College (B.A., 1989)
HometownClinton, North Carolina

Julianna Smoot is a political fundraiser for the Democratic Party. She was a Deputy Manager of Barack Obama's 2012 presidential reelection campaign,[5] having previously served as White House Social Secretary, Deputy Assistant to the President.[6] and Chief of Staff to United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk. Smoot previously served as a professional fundraiser for the Democratic Party.[7] She was the national finance director for Obama's 2008 presidential campaign; under her direction, the campaign raised $32.5 million during the second quarter of 2007 and by election day, more money than any campaign in American history.[8] She was named Social Secretary after her predecessor, Desirée Rogers resigned on February 26, 2010.[7][9]

Life and career[edit]

Smoot was born in North Carolina, where she was a debutante in Raleigh and other towns. She graduated from Smith College in 1989; her fellow Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter was a year behind. She took leave from her job at the American Trial Lawyers Association to be finance director of John Edwards's 1998 campaign for U.S. Senate. She met Pete Rouse and Steve Hildebrand on Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle's unsuccessful reelection campaign in 2004, where she raised $21 million. Rouse and Hildebrand brought her to the first Obama presidential campaign in January, 2007.[4] She has also held positions with Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois and Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia. She worked in Senatorial campaigns for Chris Dodd and Harry Reid.[1][3][10]

During the 2006 election cycle, she raised record sums as finance director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, under Chuck Schumer.[4]

Smoot was, according to a press report, declared "MVP for the first fundraising quarter" due to her success in raising money for the Obama presidential campaign in 2007.[11][12]

Smoot is now serving on the board of nonprofit Obama Foundation, which was officially set up for constructing the Barack Obama Presidential Library and Museum.[13]

Her husband, Lon Johnson, was briefly the chairperson of the Michigan Democratic Party [14][15] until he resigned in June 2015 to run for the United States House of Representatives in Michigan's 1st District and was an unsuccessful candidate in the 2012 election for the 103rd district in the Michigan House of Representatives.[16] His wife's employment in the Obama reelection effort was a campaign issue.[17]


  1. ^ a b Christensen, Rob (September 3, 2012). "Former N.C. debutante Julianna Smoot heads Obama's money machine". Charlotte News & Observer. Archived from the original on January 22, 2013. Retrieved 2013-01-01.
  2. ^ "Julianna Smoot and Lon Johnson". New York Times. October 23, 2011. Retrieved 2013-01-01.
  3. ^ a b "Idealism and Compromise in Politics and Life". Women's Narratives Project. Smith College. November 5, 2009. Retrieved 2013-01-01.
  4. ^ a b c "Julianna Smoot - The Washington Post". Washington Post. July 24, 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-02.
  5. ^ "Factbox: Key players in Obama's re-election campaign". Reuters. Retrieved 2012-04-13.
  6. ^ "Obama taps Washington insider as social secretary". Blnz.com. Archived from the original on 2012-02-20. Retrieved 2012-04-13.
  7. ^ a b Kornblut, Anne; Krissah Thompson (March 3, 2010). "Julianna Smoot brings an insider's perspective to Obama's inner circle". Washington Post. Retrieved 2013-01-02.
  8. ^ Marlantes, Liz; Greg McCown; Jean Garner (July 1, 2007). "Obama Takes In $32.5M Campaign Haul". ABC News. Retrieved 2012-04-13.
  9. ^ Weisman, Jonathan (February 26, 2010). "Desiree Rogers to Leave White House". Washington Wire (blog). Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2013-01-02. White House social secretary Desiree Rogers, who has been under fire ever since Michaele and Tareq Salahi crashed President Barack Obama’s first state dinner, will resign in March, she told Chicago Sun-Times columnist Lynn Sweet.
  10. ^ "Capital Dames: 10 Powerful Women in DC (Julianna Smoot, The Go-To Fundraiser)". Elle. March 19, 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-01.
  11. ^ Cillizza, Chris; Shailagh Murray (April 8, 2007). "Whatever the Postmarks Say, The Checks Are Made Out to Franken". Washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2012-04-13.
  12. ^ Cillizza, Chris (January 16, 2007). "Barack Obama's Impressive Team". The Fix (blog). Washington Post. Archived from the original on February 5, 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-13.
  13. ^ David Jackson, USA TODAY (2014-01-31). "Obama library foundation is formed". Usatoday.com. Retrieved 2014-05-19.
  14. ^ Gautz, Chris (February 23, 2013). "Longtime chair Mark Brewer is out; state Dems elect Lon Johnson". Crain's Detroit Business. Associated Press. Retrieved February 23, 2013.
  15. ^ Gray, Kathleen (February 23, 2013). "Mark Brewer exits race for party chair after tense day at Michigan Democratic convention". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved February 23, 2013.
  16. ^ "Michigan House of Representatives results". Detroit News. Associated Press. December 31, 2012. Archived from the original on August 6, 2014. Retrieved 2013-01-01. (quoted:)
  17. ^ Clark, Zoe; Rick Pluta (August 31, 2012). "It's Just Politics". Michigan Radio. Retrieved 2013-01-02. Representative Rendon sent out a fundraising letter that calls attention to the fact that Johnson’s wife ... is one of the people running President Obama’s reelection campaign, and a superstar of Democratic politics. ...Johnson released a letter that calls on his Republican opponent to lay off his wife.

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