New York: Having “deliberately” kept her private space so far, Chelsea Clinton hopes her new role as a TV reporter will help her lead a more “purposeful” public life, giving her a stage to share stories of inspirational people from across the country.
Clinton made her debut as a journalist on NBC’s late night show ‘Rock Center With Brian Williams’ yesterday in which the former first daughter profiled Annette Dove, who ran an afterschool programme for underprivileged children in her home state, Arkansas.
By taking on her new role as TV journalist, Clinton said she was not only following her grandmother’s advise to “lead more of a purposefully public life” but also to highlight “stories that could be inspiring to people confronting challenges in their communities across the country”.
Clinton’s 20-minute segment on Dove aired on the NBC show under the network’s ‘Making a Difference’ franchise.
For the show, she travelled to Arkansas, talking to children and teenagers whom Dove took under her wings.
Clinton was shown helping Dove in cooking meals for the children and laughing about how she does “not cook a lot”.
“For most of my life I did deliberately lead a private life and inadvertently lead a public life,” Clinton later told the show’s host Williams.
Dressed in a simple purple dress, Clinton appeared composed and confident as she spoke to Williams about why she chose her new role as journalist and how she intends to use that opportunity.
She said her maternal grandmother, who passed away in November, had been “cajoling and challenging me to do more with my life”.
She recalled her grandmother’s inspirational words that “Life is not about what happens to you, but about what you do with what happens to you”.
“Being Chelsea Clinton had happened to me and I had a responsibility to do something with that,” she said.
Telling inspirational stories through ‘Making a Difference’ will be one way to “manifest” the responsibility her famous last name had bestowed on her, Clinton said adding that she hoped to make her grandmother “proud”.
She further said she had “always been incredibly proud of both of my parents” as well as proud of the work she had done privately, professionally and academically.
Clinton told Williams she was “really grateful” for the opportunity to work as a reporter and will continue to tell stories like Dove’s, “stories of people who see a gap and step into it”.
The only child of former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the 31-year old will also appear on PBS stations across the country this week as host of Lincoln Center’s live broadcast of George Balanchine’s ‘The Nutcracker’.
An alumnus of Stanford, Oxford and Columbia Universities, Clinton has worked at financial giants like McKinsey. She is currently pursuing a doctorate at Oxford, working at New York University and working with the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative.
Her recent professional and academic work, including her academic publications, have focused on how to improve access to relatively low-cost, high-quality health care services around the world and empowerment and equal rights.
She currently serves on the boards of the Clinton Foundation, the School of American Ballet and the Weill Cornell Medical College.
She and her husband Marc live in New York City.