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TCHEN CHOSEN TO HEAD TASK FORCE (UPDATE)

Tina Tchen, former Chief of Staff for Michelle Obama, will head the Recording Academy’s task force, the org confirms.

“The fact that she lacks business ties to the music industry ensures her objectivity as chair,” said Neil Portnow, explaining the reasoning behind the choice. “In this moment, the Recording Academy can do more than reflect what currently exists; we can help lead the industry into becoming the inclusive music community we want it to be—a responsibility that the board and I take seriously. Tina Tchen is an accomplished advocate for women and impact-oriented leader versed in convening disparate stakeholders for a common purpose.”

The task force will be composed of 15 to 20 members, some of whom have been chosen, though no other names were revealed.

In the coming weeks, the Recording Academy will complete the formation of its task force with music executives, music creators, academia, and experts in diversity in entertainment. The group is expected to deliver a series of recommendations to the Recording Academy in the months ahead.

Speculation had been swirling among biz watchers about possible heads of the task force since 2/1, when the org announced its intention to form an independent group to in essence “fix” the Grammys. 

Tchen, who served the former First Lady for six years and has been heading Chicago law firm Buckley Sandler since last fall, has an impressive background in the kind of work the Academy is now being called upon to do: She led the White House Council on Women and Girls (now dormant, under Trump) and has spoken internationally on issues of gender and empowerment.

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