With the recent White House Gate Crashing incident, the efforts of Social Secretary, Desiree Rogers have been overshadowed. For all those who may not know, Rogers is responsible for planning official social events for The White House.
As social secretary, Ms. Rogers is responsible for every event that goes on in the White House residence, from the Easter egg roll to Christmas parties to visits from heads of state. She must coordinate with chefs, florists, lighting technicians, military aides, musicians. Her job is to carry out the vision of the President and First Lady, and to make their social events reflect their sensibilities.
Harvard educated with an M.B.A., Ms. Rogers is used to making decisions and planning, and has been a perfect fit in helping the Obamas make their social statement in D.C. Yet with any rising star comes controversy. With the investigation ongoing as to how the White House Gate Crashers were allowed to get past the Secret Service, there is a lot of finger pointing going on as to who is to blame. There are some who even feel that Ms. Rogers’ social responsibility is in question.
On the surface, the controversy is about a security breach, and whether Ms. Rogers contributed to it by failing to station someone from her office at Secret Service checkpoints as guests were arriving at the dinner on Nov. 24 — a practice of administrations past. The Secret Service has accepted full responsibility for the crashers, but in a memorandum issued last week, the White House deputy chief of staff, Jim Messina, announced that henceforth, social office employees will stand alongside members of the Secret Service at guard posts — an embarrassing rebuke of Ms. Rogers, though she was not named.
There will always be those who question the talents of successful African-Americans, and try to bring them down, but we applaud the grace and efforts of Ms. Rogers, making a difference at The White House.