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Desiree Rogers to Step Down

CBS News has confirmed that White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers plans to step down next month.

Rogers told the Chicago Sun-Times, which first reported the story, that she plans "to explore opportunities in the corporate world." Her possible resignation had been the subject of rumors for months.

"The background is that she decided that it is the perfect time for her to return to the private sector," Senior Obama Adviser Valerie Jarrett told CBS News. "She came in and accomplished a great deal in the first year. Opened up the White House to be the people's house, and now she's ready to move back to the private sector."

A former corporate executive, Rogers took criticism for her role in Tareq and Michaele Salahi and Carlos Allen's unauthorized entry into a state dinner amid reports that the White House did not have staff at security checkpoints. The White House turned down the House Homeland Security Committee when it requested she testify about her role in the incident.

She was also criticized in Washington for her prominent public role, which was seen as at odds with the traditional role of a social secretary.

People questioned "whether she broke some unwritten code of social secretary dos and don'ts," the New York Times reported, noting that some believed "she should have been something Desiree Rogers is utterly unaccustomed to being: invisible."

The former Chicago resident and longtime friend of the Obamas has presided over 330 events in her time in the White House, according to Sun-Times.

She said she completed her work at the White House, telling the newspaper that "our office has been able to lay the foundation for what will be known as the 'people's house' and it has already taken shape."

"We are enormously grateful to Desiree Rogers for the terrific job she's done as the White House Social Secretary," President and Michelle Obama said in a statement. "When she took this position, we asked Desiree to help make sure that the White House truly is the People's House, and she did that by welcoming scores of everyday Americans through its doors, from wounded warriors to local schoolchildren to NASCAR drivers. She organized hundreds of fun and creative events during her time here, and we will miss her. We thank her again for her service and wish her all the best in her future endeavors."