First Lady Melania Trump continues to round out her White House staff. This time, she has announced her chief of staff, Lindsay Reynolds. Here's what you need to know about the woman who will be Melania's top staffer at the White House.
1. She's a veteran of the Bush administration.
This won't be Reynolds' first time in the White House. She's a veteran of the Bush administration, having served as associate director of the White House Visitors Office under George W. Bush. Reynolds will likely put her background in the Visitors Office to good use right away. The Trump administration has yet to put anyone in charge of the office, and Reynolds said in a statement that staffing it is a top priority for her and the first lady's staff.
She explained that she is "working to ensure that the White House Visitors Office is fully staffed and operational and ready to accept tour requests for the public in the coming weeks."
2. She has deep ties to the GOP establishment.
According to the Washington Post, Reynolds has deep ties to the Republican establishment and serves as a link between the Trump administration and the "old guard of the GOP." Her biggest link to the GOP establishment comes in the form of her father-in-law, Republican fundraiser Mercer Reynolds. Mercer Reynolds served as the national finance chair for Bush's 2004 reelection campaign and later as one of the finance co-chairs for John McCain.
"I would be silly to say that I'm not associated with the Republican side," Lindsay told Cincy Magazine. "I think everybody knows that (about the family's links to the Republicans), but we're willing to do anything." She is married to James Mercer Reynolds, who handles property management for the company that oversees Mercer Plantation in Georgia, according to Cincy Magazine.
Reynolds was involved in Cincinnati's bid to host the Republican National Convention, as project manager of the Cincinnati Host Committee. The 2016 Republican National Convention was ultimately held in Cleveland.
"Lindsay has deep experience of the inner workings of the White House, she's a natural leader, and she already knows the Trump family through her work on the presidential debates and the Republican convention," Lea Berman, a former White House social secretary under George W. Bush, said.
3. She has experience in education and event planning.
Before joining the Bush administration in 2004, Reynolds taught third grade in Ohio. After leaving the White House the first time, Reynolds returned to Ohio to form an event planning business with friends. The official statement announcing her new role highlighted her event planning experience, saying she "brings over fourteen years of experience in political fundraising, event management, and logistical expertise" to her new position.
4. She'll be Melania's representative in Washington, D.C. for the time being.
While some appointees to the FLOTUS' team, like Chief Strategist Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, will reportedly work with the first lady in New York leading up to her move to Washington later this year, Reynolds is expected to set up shop in the East Wing of the White House right away. This will leave her responsible for representing the first lady in Washington, at least until her move at the end of the school year.
5. She'll be a key part of the FLOTUS' staff.
As chief of staff, Reynolds will be a key member of Melania Trump's White House team. In fact, she'll be her top staffer and in charge of managing the first lady's day-to-day schedule.
"The first lady is thoughtfully selecting her team, establishing the office of the first lady and supporting her husband President Trump," Reynolds said in a statement.
Historically, the first lady has been responsible for hostessing duties at the White House, particularly at official events like state dinners. In recent years, first ladies have also championed causes close to their hearts, often (but not always) related to children or women's issues. Melania has indicated an interest in working to combat cyberbullying during her time as first lady.
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Kayleigh Roberts is a freelance writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional experience. Her byline has appeared in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, The Atlantic, Allure, Entertainment Weekly, MTV, Bustle, Refinery29, Girls’ Life Magazine, Just Jared, and Tiger Beat, among other publications. She's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.
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