Incoming first lady Melania Trump is reportedly considering a man among potential candidates for White House social secretary — a position that has historically been occupied by a woman. The social secretary’s duties include serving as a conduit between the first family and residence staff as well as overseeing the public events, such as state dinners, that happen almost daily at the White House. While the future first lady has refused to comment on her personnel choices, she has stated that she intends to stay in New York City until her 10-year-old son Barron finishes school. She has not said if or when she intends to move into the White House.
The position of social secretary is remarkable in the degree to which it requires interaction with the first lady. When the Obamas named Jeremy Bernard social secretary in 2011, he became the first man and the first openly gay person to fill the position. Desirée Rogers, the Obama’s first social secretary, was named in advance of the 2009 inauguration and helped the family move into the White House. Rogers was the first African American to be named as social secretary — a distinction she said she felt keenly after witnessing the reaction of the largely African-American butlers staff.
“On Inaugural Day what was most compelling to me is that I looked at all these gentlemen preparing for the arrival of the first African-American president — I could not help but be taken at how they looked,” recalled Rogers. “They reminded me, quite frankly, of my grandfather, who obviously was a pillar in our family.”
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