Clinton, 31, was tasked to present two reports, first chatting to Rock Center host Brian Williams and then presenting a segment on a non-profit organisation.
Wearing a stylish claret dress Clinton addressed her decision to work for NBC: 'For most of my life, I did deliberately lead a private life and inadvertently led a public life,' she said.
It was her late grandmother Dorothy Rodham who convinced her to increase her public profile Clinton confessed.
'She recently had been cajoling me and challenging me to do more with my life, to lead a more of purposely public life,' Clinton said.
'She said that being Chelsea Clinton had happened to me and that I had a responsibility to do something with that asset and opportunity.'
In her first major report Clinton praised the Topps Center in poverty-stricken Jefferson County, Arkansas, where she interviewed founder Annette Dove about the 500 children and young adults they serve.
But critic Hank Stuever, writing for the Washington Post, scoffed that Clinton displayed 'so very little charisma - none at all.'
'Either we’re spoiled by TV’s unlimited population of giant personalities or this woman is one of the most boring people of her era'