Rear Admiral Stephen Rochon was the first African American Chief Usher at the White House. The Admiral served as Director of the Executive Residence in the White House from 2007-2011. He was responsible for the execution of all major events at the White House and preserving the home’s historic presence.

After being named chief usher by former president George W. Bush in 2007, Admiral Rochon ushered in the Obama family in 2009, ensuring that the nation’s first black family would arrive in style. He took care of them and their 600,000 houseguests that year. Rochon stepped down in 2011 to work in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection division of the Department of Homeland Security.

A native of New Orleans, La., Admiral Rochon began his first tour of duty aboard the cutter White Bush in Astoria, Oregon in 1973. He served in the Coast Guard Reserve while attending Xavier University of Louisiana, where he received a B.S. in Business Administration in 1979. Admiral Rochon comes from a military family with members serving in nearly every branch of the military.

After he graduated from War College in 1999, Admiral Rochon returned to his hometown as Commanding Officer of the Marine Safety Office. He was appointed to his first flag officer assignment in Washington, D.C., as Director, Office of Intelligence and Security, and the National Security Advisor to the Secretary of Transportation, a department he would return to after serving at the White House.

Admiral Rochon served in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1970 to 2007. He is a three-time Legion of Merit medal recipient. He served as the Coast Guard’s Director of Personnel Management in the aftermath of the 2005 hurricanes, providing support for Coast Guard personnel and their families, and ensuring they had housing and new job assignments. He helped rebuild and preserve the historic significance of three turn-of-the-century homes in New Orleans following the 2005 hurricanes.

As a historian, Admiral Rochon wrote and produced a posthumous documentary honoring the late Alex Haley, father of the legendary novel and film “Roots.” He took the lead on awarding a posthumous Gold Lifesaving Medal for the all-black crew of the Pea Island Lifesaving Station for their rescue in 1896 near the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Admiral Stephen Rochon has recently served as an advisor to Lee Daniels’ blockbuster film “The Butler,” which is now in its third week at the top spot in the box office. His insight was also used in the recent 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.


Rear Admiral Stephen Rochon

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