White House Logs Show Visits by CGI Official, Classmate of Michelle Obama

Image: White House Logs Show Visits by CGI Official, Classmate of Michelle Obama

Tuesday, 29 Oct 2013 08:29 AM

By Andrea Billups

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Toni Townes-Whitley, a college classmate of Michelle Obama and a senior executive at besieged Obamacare website contractor CGI Federal, has visited the White House several times for both personal and professional reasons.

Townes-Whitley visited the White House complex on four occasions earlier this year to meet with administration officials in her role as vice president for at CGI Federal, which secured a $678 million no-bid contract to build the Obamacare exchange web portal.

Townes-Whitley, a Princeton University classmate of first lady Michelle Obama, and her husband, John Whitley, who works as an engineer for CBS News, also attended a White House Christmas gathering together in 2010, posing for photos with the president and first lady.

Urgent: ObamaCare Is About to Strike — Are You Prepared?

The records from the White House visitors log show the CGI Federal vice president, who graduated from Princeton in 1985, the same year as Michelle Obama, had a deeper connection with federal business than simply a college connection to the first lady.

Three of the afternoon meetings, held in the Old Executive Office Building, were scheduled in advance, and one, on Friday, April 26, was not. Three of the meetings were held on Friday and one on Saturday.

The records show Townes-Whitley was alone in her visits.

The first meeting was held on Jan. 18. Townes-Whitley met with Danny Werfel, a principal deputy commissioner on the Affordable Care Act, who was named acting director of the IRS in May. Records for that day show Townes-Whitley arrived at the White House at 1:31 p.m. and left at 3:23 p.m.

Townes-Whitley visited again April 26, arriving at 3:43 p.m. and leaving at 4:27 p.m. She met with Jonathan McBride, who was at the time special assistant to the president and deputy director of the presidential personnel office. McBride was promoted in July to director of the presidential personnel office.

Townes-Whitley met again with McBride on June 1, a Saturday, for about five hours, leaving the White House at around 7 p.m.

On Friday, June 28, Townes-Whitley met with John McNaught, an economics staff assistant.

The White House logs do not indicate the reason for the visits.

Townes-Whitley joined CGI in May 2010, less than two months after President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act. She serves as the lead of the company's Civilian Agency Programs Business Unit for the Federal Group, according to a bio published on the CGI website. The unit serves 22 federal civilian agencies in the United States and 34 other countries.

A CGI executive testified before an angry congressional committee last week about the website's significant technical problems, which have caused a registration delay for consumers seeking health insurance from federal exchanges. The White House has promised that the site will be fully functional by the end of November, although members of Congress are seeking a pause in the registration deadline until repairs are complete.

Prior to her work at CGI, Townes-Whitley worked at Unisys Corp. as a vice president for the global public sector, system integration, and consulting. She also is a former Peace Corps volunteer in central Africa, serving for three years from 1986 to 1989.

According to Federal Election Commission records, Toni Townes-Whitley gave $500 in 2011 and 2012 to Obama's re-election campaign, and another $1,000 to the Obama Victory Fund.

A story published by the Daily Caller on Monday said that while at Princeton, Michelle Obama and Townes-Whitley were both active in two Princeton University groups — the Organization of Black Unity and the Third World Center. They both now belong to the Association of Black Princeton Alumni.

Michelle Obama served on the governing board of the Third World Center and was active in the Organization of Black Unity, according to a 2008 Boston Globe article.

"Although [Michelle] Obama had friends who were both black and white, her social world revolved around several of the black organizations on campus, as it did for many other black students," the Globe reported. "Obama was a member of the Organization of Black Unity, a primary resource for black students on campus which arranged speakers and programs."

Urgent: ObamaCare Is About to Strike — Are You Prepared?



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