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Bill Clinton: How Chelsea Clinton Found Her Calling in New York

For Variety’s latest issue, we asked Bill Clinton to write a tribute for his daughter Chelsea, one of 50 people to make our New Power of New York list. Here’s why Chelsea represents a new generation of movers and shakers that capture the best of Manhattan.  

I’m glad Chelsea chose to be a New Yorker. It gives Hillary and me more time with her, Marc, and their children, and our grandchildren are growing up in one of the world’s most diverse, exciting, creative communities. New York is perfect for her: people celebrate our diversity and cherish our common humanity, lift each other up and push each other forward.

New York has helped Chelsea find her calling. In Lower Manhattan on 9/11, she was shaken by the lives that were lost and steeled in her determination to stay and make a life here. And she has, through two interesting jobs in the private sector and work at NYU, where she helped to co-found the Of Many Institute, a vibrant interfaith group that provides Muslims and Jewish students the chance to learn from one another and work together for the common good.

After Hillary’s campaign in 2008, she attended Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, earned a master’s degree, and now teaches there. She’s also joined the Clinton Foundation, where she has taken a leading role in modernizing our operations, increasing our impact on the lives of young children through the Too Small to Fail initiative, and developing and sharing the most comprehensive data available on the status of women and girls through No Ceilings, a partnership with Melinda Gates and the Gates Foundation. After Superstorm Sandy, she mobilized 1,000 volunteers for a Day of Action in the Rockaways, and later brought more volunteers to other hard-hit communities in Queens and Staten Island.

You can tell that like most fathers, I think my daughter is pretty great, and my grandchildren have a mother who will show by the power of example that New York is a great place to grow up and give back. I will always be grateful that Chelsea — and my wonderful son-in-law Marc — have made a life of love and purpose in New York City.

Bill Clinton is the 42nd president of the United States and founder of the Clinton Foundation. Read our full New Power of New York list here, as well as tributes for Ivanka Trump (by Jared Kushner), Megyn Kelly (by Judge Judy) and Leslie Jones (by Lena Dunham).  

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