Second Lady Karen Pence hires chief of staff

Vice President Mike Pence, his wife, Karen Pence, and their daughter, Charlotte Pence, arrive for a rally on the National Mall before the start of the 44th annual March for Life on January 27, 2017, in Washington.

Story highlights

  • Kristan King Nevins will be Karen Pence's chief of staff
  • She previously served in the George H.W. Bush administration

Washington (CNN)Karen Pence has made her first official hire as second lady, appointing Kristan King Nevins as her chief of staff, the office of the vice president announced Tuesday.

King Nevins is no stranger to the inner workings of the East Wing -- the Texas native served as chief of staff to Barbara Bush during her time as first lady. She also has government experience working for the White House national security staff, the State Department and the CIA in advising and management capacities, according to a statement. She most recently worked for consulting firm SBD Advisors as director of strategy.
Pence, who was an elementary school teacher for more than 25 years, plans to use her platform as second lady to bring attention to children and art therapy programs. In 2013, she founded the Indiana First Lady's Charitable Foundation to support youth, families and arts organizations.
She is an artist specializing in watercolors of homes and historical buildings, according to her official White House biography. And Pence had a small business selling handcrafted towel charms to help tell bathroom towels apart. The business is currently on hold, per its website.
King Nevins will be a key adviser as Pence continues to support causes near to her heart in her new role.
"Kristan has a heart for public service and a deep passion for giving back; qualities that will serve as strong pillars in our mission to shine a spotlight on art therapy programs across America," Pence said in a statement.
First Lady Melania Trump has also made a major staffing decision in recent days, formally announcing Lindsay Reynolds, who worked in the George W. Bush White House, as her chief of staff last week. Several other key East Wing posts, including White House social secretary, remain unfilled.