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Friday, May 4, 2018

Katz-Hernandez, the ROTUS of Whitehouse

ROTUS stands for Receptionist of the United States (White House West Wing receptionist)..... IT does not require any elaboration that ‘White House’ is the official residence and principal workplace of the President of the United States, located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C. It has been the residence of every U.S. president since John Adams in 1800.

The house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia Creek sandstone in the Neoclassical style. In  1814, during the War of 1812, the mansion was set ablaze by the British Army in the Burning of Washington, destroying the interior and charring much of the exterior. Reconstruction began almost immediately, and President James Monroe moved into the partially reconstructed Executive Residence in October 1817.  

The ‘woman of this post’ after  working in the Chicago headquarters of Obama’s re-election campaign,  moved to Washington, D.C., and was hired as an assistant in the first lady’s office.  That was her first week on the job for -  Katz-Hernandez.   In her new job as ROTUS, Katz-Hernandez gets to welcome all of the president’s guests to the West Wing. “I make sure that everyone is happy, and everyone feels welcome and has a nice experience when they come into the West Wing lobby,” Hernandez said.

After studying government at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., Katz-Hernandez’s passion for public service led her to join Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. It was at campaign headquarters in Chicago that she first met her future boss.  Anyone wanting to speak to the president must stop by her desk first. Leah Katz-Hernandez, 27, is the new White House receptionist.  With a desk just steps away from the Oval Office, Katz-Hernandez is usually the first to greet anyone — from world leaders to White House staff members — who has an appointment with the president or his top-level aides. She also oversees the White House guest book and the Roosevelt Room, the West Wing meeting room, and is responsible for collecting cell phones before meetings with the president.

At the White House, Katz-Hernandez has access to an interpreter to help her do her job.  ~and she is deaf !!  "It's a fantastic opportunity and also to show that deaf people can do anything," she said through an interpreter, who is provided for her at work.   “The White House is really a model for accessibility for people with disabilities – and especially for deaf people,” she said. “I believe my story sends a good message about the abilities of people who are deaf and Latino to be successful anywhere."   Katz-Hernandez is defined by her accomplishments, not her disability, said Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary. "She represents us very well," he told NBC's Peter Alexander. The Connecticut native was born deaf to two deaf parents — a Jewish, social worker mother and a Mexican-American father who put himself through college and earned a PhD.

Katz-Hernandez puts her father at the top of the list of people who inspire her. “My father was born in California, in the Los Angeles area. He grew up on horse ranches. He worked hard, put himself through college, and earned his PhD. He’s always taught me it’s very important to give back to your community,” she said.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
12th May 2015.

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