Audrey Haynes will have to miss her 20-year high school reunion in Adair County, Ky., this weekend. She’ll be busy looking for a place to stay in Washington, D.C., for her new job in the White House.
Haynes, 37, of Frankfort, Ky., is in line to become President Clinton’s point person on women’s issues. The White House announced Tuesday that Clinton has named Haynes deputy assistant to the president and director of the White House Office for Women’s Initiatives and Outreach.
“I am thrilled. I can’t believe it because it is something I really did not seek,” Haynes said during a break in her job as deputy secretary of the state Cabinet for Health Services. “To me, it’s the highest professional compliment I could be paid.”
In her new job, which pays about $90,000 a year, Haynes will coordinate public policy issues dealing with women. She will attend daily White House staff meetings and work out of an office in the nearby Blair House.
“It will be my job to articulate a broad range of issues pertaining to women, not just education and social services interests but many interests like the economy,” she said.
Haynes recently served as adviser to Kentucky Gov. Paul Patton and as chief of staff for Lt. Gov. Steve Henry. She was national director of Business and Professional Women from 1993 to 1996. She said she got the White House appointment after a position in the Department of Labor did not materialize and “a couple of friends in the women’s community floated my name with the White House.”
Haynes said she is “not necessarily viewed as a person inside the D.C. Beltway. I have proved through my work in the BPW that I have a national range on women’s issues.”
She said she also is “sensitive to the needs of women who aren’t involved in women’s issues,” noting that her mother, Ann Overstreet, is a hospital aide in Columbia, Ky., who makes minimum wage.
Haynes plans to start her job in mid-September and will continue to keep her home in Frankfort with her husband, Mike Haynes. She replaces Betsy Myers, who is returning to the Small Business Administration.