White House Fires Its First Woman Chief Usher

by Chris Tognotti
Joshua Roberts/Getty Images News/Getty Images

According to multiple reports, a woman who broke some White House barriers back in 2011 is now without a job: Angella Reid, the first woman White House chief usher, has been fired by the administration. Reid, who is Jamaican-American, was also the first black woman to ever occupy this role; she had been charged with managing the White House staff, the White House grounds, and all activities therein.

Reid's departure from the White House post, according to the Trump administration, was not in any way hostile or acrimonious. In fact, White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders commented on the firing during her Friday afternoon briefing, filling in for Sean Spicer, and had nothing but nice, complimentary things to say about Reid.

Specifically, she said that Reid was let go "on very good terms," and said there was "nothing more" to the firing than standard turnover between administrations.

She is no longer employed here at the White House. We left on very good terms and wish her the very best and certainly hope for great things for her in the future. However, it’s not uncommon you might have a transition of staff when a new administration comes in. It’s nothing more than that.

According to Maggie Haberman of The New York Times, a source within the administration attributed Reid's firing to the inaction of First Lady Melania Trump in hiring new staff. So far, she's been living out of Trump Tower in New York City, an arrangement which has rankled some observers thanks to the additional security costs it's created.

What's notable, however, is that Reid was booted from the administration after just six years on the job. It's totally true that presidential administrations experience turnover, and are often keen to bring in their own people. But the role of White House usher, historically speaking, has been a notable exception to that ― according to The Washington Post, there have only been nine new chief ushers since the start of the 20th century, making the average length of a tenure about 13 years.

The longest-serving White House chief usher in American history was Irwin H. Hoover, who occupied the role from 1909 all the way through 1933. The shortest stint in the post-20th century era was Reid's predecessor, former Coast Guard admiral Stephen Rochon. He was the first black person to occupy the role of White House chief usher, and Reid was the second.