Angella Reid, the second Black person to manage the White House as chief usher

Angella Reid/Photo credit: Vanity Fair

She made headlines on international news sites when she was fired by the Trump administration, especially given that her position was non-partisan, but buried in the news glut was the history she made. In 2011, Angella Reid became the first woman, the second African American, and the ninth person to be named chief usher at the White House. She played a supervisory role in the construction, remodeling, food, administrative, and personal functions at the White House.

For someone born in the St. Thomas parish of Jamaica, securing such jobs was in her wildest dreams, but as they say, every dream is possible. She applied for the role with modest hope, and soon, the Obama administration offered her the job. She had a high school education in Kingston, Jamaica, before moving to the United States.

Angella spent 25 years in the hospitality industry before taking up her role at the White House. She holds a degree in Hospitality Management from the Carl Duisberg Gesellschaft School in Munich, Germany, and is conversational in German and basic Spanish. She started her career at the Half Moon Club in Jamaica and later rose to the position of General Manager at The Ritz- Carlton, Pentagon City, Arlington, Virginia.

According to CNN, from the day she received her appointment details, Angella managed the White House and the residence of staff working abroad. She was tasked to ensure that all operations and activities within the Executive residence and its grounds were in top state. 

As the chief usher, she maintained a close relationship with the White House Historical Association, the Committee for the Preservation of the White House, the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, and other related entities to take care of and preserve the historic People’s House. She also took care of the annual inventory of the White House property, which is operated by the Office of the Curator and the National Park Service.

Angela did not find her job at the White House any different from her earlier role, the only difference this time around was to add the glamour and class of her over two-decade experience to bear on the historic House. While in charge of Ritz Carlton, Angella managed properties in Miami, Washington, D.C., Florida, Arlington, and Virginia.

She once told CNN when she was appointed to the White House, she was bewildered by how her feet walked on history. She wondered about the Presidents and the First Ladies who had walked in the hallway as any other guests, according to the Obama White House Archives. She may have lost her job due to partisan influences, but she left a big legacy for the black community.

Last Edited by:Annie-Flora Mills Updated: March 21, 2023


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