Tina Tchen

Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy and Impact Officer

Obama Foundation


Civic/Public Policy

Member since:


Membership Type:


Tina Tchen heads Buckley LLP’s Chicago office, and draws on more than 30 years of experience at the highest levels of private practice and government service. She provides corporations, boards of directors, and individuals with unique litigation, counseling, and crisis management skills.

Over the course of her extensive career, Ms. Tchen has handled complex civil litigation and enforcement matters in both state and federal courts in Illinois and across the country. She has represented major global corporations and their officers and directors in a wide range of matters, including consumer class actions, corporate investigations, government enforcement actions, executive compensation, and breach of contract litigation. Ms. Tchen also has represented public agencies in state and federal class actions, and successfully argued before the United States Supreme Court on behalf of the State of Illinois.

Ms. Tchen previously served as an Assistant to President Obama, Executive Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls, and Chief of Staff to First Lady Michelle Obama. In addition, she worked on Title IX initiatives and was instrumental in the formation of the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault.  Ms. Tchen is a leading voice in the national conversation on fighting sexual harassment, gender inequity, and discrimination, and has addressed these issues at Forbes’ I.D.E.A. Summit, the Wall Street Journal’s Future of Everything Festival, Vanity Fair’s Founder’s Fair, and the Milken Institute’s Global Conference, and at a number of other notable venues. She has also been instrumental in spearheading the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, which provides legal support to women and men who have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace.

Ms. Tchen is a leader of Buckley’s Workplace Cultural Compliance practice, counseling companies on issues related to gender inequity, sexual harassment, and lack of diversity in the workplace. She guides companies in approaching cultural compliance issues with the same rigor and vigilance — and the same compliance-management systems and controls — that they devote to other critical risks.

Her clients include Uber Technologies Inc., Vice Media LLC, American Hotel & Lodging Association, the Maryland General Assembly, and the Illinois Anti-Harassment, Equality and Access Panel.

Additionally, Ms. Tchen serves as the chair of The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc.’s Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion, where she is leading an ongoing review of the various barriers and unconscious biases faced by underrepresented communities throughout the music industry.

Ms. Tchen’s work in this area includes:

  • Developing, implementing, and evaluating compliance-management systems (CMS) to address a broad range of issues, including sexual harassment, gender inequity, diversity, and inclusion
  • Designing, implementing, and evaluating board-level and business-line compliance policies and procedures to drive cultural change and measure progress
  • Constructing best practices for corporate diversity and inclusion initiatives
  • Conducting enterprise-wide compliance risk assessments and gap analyses
  • Conducting internal investigations in response to internal complaints or external inquiries

Ms. Tchen has received a variety of awards in recognition of her work, including the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement award from the American Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession, the Myra Bradwell Woman of Achievement award from the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois, the Dawn Clark Netsch Public Service Award from the Northwestern University School of Law, the Women of Achievement award from the Anti-Defamation League, and was named Chicago Lawyer’s Person of the Year.

Ms. Tchen serves on numerous strategic advisory boards for organizations, businesses, and nonprofits, including the White House Historical Association, When We All Vote, Civic Nation, the United State of Women, and EBW2020: Empowering a Billion Women by 2020.

Prior to joining the Obama administration, Ms. Tchen was a partner in corporate litigation at Skadden, where she practiced for 23 years. She received her J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law and her B.A. from Harvard University, where she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and an editor of The Harvard Independent.

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