The White House has fired its chief usher, Angella Reid, the first woman and second African America to hold the position.
Reporting by: Saideh Browne
When the White House residence staff arrived at work Friday morning, they were told that Reid was no longer employed, according to someone with knowledge of the dismissal. A White House official confirmed that Reid is no longer working at the White House. “We are very grateful for her service and wish her the very best,” the official said.
Reached by phone, Reid declined to comment, saying only, “I think it’s best if the White House explains.”
The job is one that typically involves a long tenure — there have been just nine since the beginning of the 20th century. The White House declined to provide any specifics for the reasons behind Reid’s departure.
Despite the unusual title, the chief usher oversees all activities in the White House residence and works as general manager of the building, handling everything from the large staff of butlers, maids, chefs, florists and electricians to fiscal, administrative and personal duties.
The chief usher also works closely with the first family, including providing guidance on the furnishings, art and decor. Reid, who previously worked for the Ritz-Carlton hotel group, joined the White House in 2011 under President Barack Obama.
She replaced the first African American chief usher, Adm. Stephen W. Rochon, when he left to take a job at the Department of Homeland Security.
Douglas Brinkley, a presidential historian and professor of history at Rice University, said that it is highly unusual for an administration to fire its chief usher, especially without providing any explanation. “If there is a very compelling reason for the dismissal, the White House needs to tell the public” he said. “Otherwise it comes off as cruel.”
Source: Washington Post
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