White House Chief Usher
The Chief Usher is, by description, charged with the responsibility "for the effective operation of the White House Complex and Executive Residence, site of Official and Ceremonial activities of the Presidency, and a museum of our American history ... [Chief Usher] develops and administers the budget for the operation, maintenance, and utilities and supervises the Executive Residence staff." In carrying out this charge, the Chief Usher must coordinate Executive Residence actions with a host of organizations including the Executive Office of the President, the National Park Service, the Secret Service, the General Services Administration, the military, and other government entities. The Chief Usher serves at the pleasure of the president and coordinates both official and family life at the White House.
For operations involving official ceremonies, such as the State Arrival Ceremony or State Dinner at the White House, the Chief Usher coordinates activities with the White House Social Secretary in the East Wing, and the Chief of Protocol of the United States, an official within the United States Department of State.
In coordinating the historic preservation of the White House, the Chief Usher works with the White House Office of the Curator, the Committee for the Preservation of the White House, and the White House Historical Association.
The office for the Chief Usher is located on the State Floor, near to the Cross Hall and Entrance Hall beside the entrance to the North Portico. An 1815 floor plan for the White House labels this room as the Ushers Lodge.
The longest serving White House Chief Usher was Irwin "Ike" H. Hoover, who served as Chief Usher for about 25 years of his 42 years in the White House. Gary J. Walters resigned as Chief Usher in January 2007 after serving in the position from 1986 when appointed by President Ronald Reagan. The current and ninth Chief Usher is Angella Reid, a former general manager of the Ritz-Carlton at Pentagon City, Virginia.
List of Chief Ushers
|1885 - 1892||Eldon S. Dinsmore|
|1892 - 1901||William Dubois|
|1||1901 - 1909||Thomas E. Stone|
|2||1909 - 1933||Irwin "Ike" H. Hoover.|
|3||1933 - 1938||Raymond Muir|
|4||1938 - 1957||Howell G. Crim|
|5||1957 - 1969||James B. West|
|6||1970 - 1985||Rex Scouten|
|7||1986 - 2007||Gary J. Walters|
|8||2007 - 2011||Stephen W. Rochon|
|9||2011 -||Angella Reid|
- CONFIRMING THE CABINET; PRESIDENT HARRISON'S SECOND DAY IN OFFICE.REGRETS FOR MR. CLEVELAND'S DEPARTURE--CROWDS IN THE AVENUES--WHITE HOUSE CHANGES. The New York Times 6 March 1889
- The President's Table: Two Hundred Years of Dining and Diplomacy p 287
- First Ladies: The Saga of the Presidents' Wives and Their Power, 1789- p 298
- CHANGES AT WHITE HOUSE.; A New Social Secretary--Negro Footmen Replace Policemen. The New York Times 4 March 1909
- "The Presidency: Roosevelt Week". Time. October 2, 1933; "Raymond D. Muir Appointed White House Chief Usher". The Washington Post. September 19, 1933. p. 2.
- Angella Reid, first woman named chief usher at the White House The Washington Post 5 October 2011
- Garrett, Wendell. Our Changing White House. Northeastern University Press: 1995. ISBN 1-55553-222-5.
- Seale, William. The President's House. White House Historical Association and the National Geographic Society: 1986. ISBN 0-912308-28-1.
- West, J.B. with Mary Lynn Kotz. Upstairs at the White House: My Life with the First Ladies. Coward, McCann & Geoghegan: 1973. SBN 698-10546-X.
- The White House: An Historic Guide. White House Historical Association and the National Geographic Society: 2001. ISBN 0-912308-79-6.
- White House Historical Association website
- Records of the White House Usher (1953-1961), Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library
- C-SPAN Q&A interview with Gary Walters, January 21, 2007