My Presidential Education
Drawing from his coveted experience as President Obama’s personal aide (the subject of his book, Power Forward), Reggie Love shares timeless—yet timely—lessons on crisis management, collaboration and leadership in the 21st Century. Humble, serious, and self-deprecating, he encourages audiences to realize their potential and become more politically active.
Reggie Love is best known as President Barack Obama’s “Body Man,” or special assistant—a role he recently left to in order to pursue an MBA at Wharton Business School. During the past four and a half years, Love traveled nearly a million miles with Obama, spending more time with him than almost anyone else on the planet. He also filed his share of 18-hour work days. Love gave the President “a shot of youthful cool,” writes The New York Times, which describes him as “personal aide, shadow, caretaker, basketball buddy and roving diplomat.” Love wrote about his experiences in a memoir, Power Forward: My Presidential Education. In it, he shares universal insights on how life can define who you are, what you believe in, and what it takes to make a difference.
Possessed of classic Southern charm, Reggie Love began working for then-Senator Obama in 2007, starting in the mailroom. When Obama won the 2008 election, he chose Love as his personal aide, responsible for assisting with the coordination and completion of the President's daily schedule as well as coordinating with other offices to set up long and medium range planning. Love graduated from Duke University in 2004, majoring in political science and public policy, with a minor in history; he also captained the basketball team and started for the football team. After short stints in the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers, he moved to Washington, D.C. in 2006.
At the White House, high-pressure decisions are made daily involving staff, other branches of government, the corporate sector, and foreign countries. Love, Obama's one-time “gatekeeper,” filters the behind-the-scenes drama and procedure to extract engaging (and customized) takeaways. Serious but self-deprecating, he doesn't just recount his amazing journey with the President; he takes a step back and makes vital connections to your organization.
Reggie Love offers a rousing call to students to shape both their future and the shared future of our nation—by actively participating in our democracy. Being informed and casting a vote are just the beginning. Drawing on his time at The White House, where he witnessed the power of the democratic process firsthand, Love debunks misconceptions about government and public life to help spur social change. With unbounded enthusiasm, he is sure to spark a non-partisan campus-wide discussion.
Reggie Love has packed a tremendous amount of life into his 30 years. In this soaring yet humble talk, he shares the lessons that have grounded and guided him. Like most of us, Love is many things to many people. To President Obama, he was a tireless personal aide. To sports fans, he’s the former captain of the Duke Basketball team. To others, he’s the quiet guy working toward his MBA. Love sees himself as someone who has been graced with good luck. More important than having good luck, though, is being self-aware enough to recognize and harness it. Imploring us to make the most of opportunities, Love gently updates a classic inspirational talk about preparation and success.