First female chief usher at White House dismissed from post

The first woman and second black person to serve as chief usher at the White House has been relieved of her duties.

No official reason was offered as to why Angella Reid was dismissed from her post, though deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the parting was amicable.

“We left on very good terms and wish her the best and certainly hope for great things for her in the future,” she said during Friday’s briefing. “However, it’s not uncommon that you might have a transition in which a new administration comes in and it’s simply nothing more than that.”

Huckabee Sanders added the deputy usher will be fulfilling Reid’s duties — which include managing staff members like florists, and butlers in addition to overseeing several White House events .

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OCT. 18, 2011 FILE PHOTO

The White House suddenly fired its chief usher, Angella Reid.

(Carolyn Kaster/AP)

“Construction, maintenance, remodeling, food as well as administrative, fiscal and personal functions” also fall under the purview of the chief usher, according to the White House Historical Association.

Reid, who previously worked for Ritz-Carlton Hotel group, was hired by Barack Obama and joined White House Staff in 2011. She replaced the first African American to take on the job, Adm. Stephen W. Rochon, who left for a position at the Department of Homeland Security.

Former Obama aide Graham Brookie tweeted out his dismay Friday.

“Ms. Reid was incredible at her job,” he wrote. “Warm, kind & commanded respect of the White House. I am sitting up straight just tweeting about this.”

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In an interview with NBC, Reid told Jenna Bush Hager she was looking forward to working with President Trump and his administration.

“I am just so grateful to the President and the first lady for taking a chance and bringing me to serve,” she said, describing the job as an “astonishing, unbelievable opportunity” to serve.

Angella Reid was the first female to serve as chief usher, the person who is responsible for managing the residence and its staff as well as overseeing events. 

Angella Reid was the first female to serve as chief usher, the person who is responsible for managing the residence and its staff as well as overseeing events. 

(KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

The chief usher, who works closely with the first family, normally enjoys a long tenure as the role is non-political — there have only been nine of them since the beginning of the 20th century. Rochon, who held the position from 2007 to 2011, told CNN “the permanent staff averages 25 years — one staffer was there for 50 years.”

White house employees first learned of Reid’s firing when they arrived at work Friday morning, the Washington Post reported.

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She made history when she accepted the role.

“What I think about most when I walk around the house is who has been here, who has done what in this particular space,” she told CNN last year. “It gives me a sense of awe, the fact that slaves built this house and I now work in this house as a leader, something out of my wildest dreams.”

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