It has been a tradition for the first lady to choose an interior designer, who is then tasked with redecorating the first family’s private quarters. Melania Trump has hired Tham Kannalikham, who will act as the official White House decorator. The Laotian-American designer is the principal of her own firm, Kannalikham Designs, according to Vogue. Tham had previously worked for the Ralph Lauren Home collection. The Obamas’ designer was Michael S. Smith, who was known for his worldly, modern designs.
Melania has been slower to hire staff than past first ladies. Trump’s first reported hire as first lady was Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a longtime friend and fashion director to the Lincoln Center planner with ties to Vogue, who will serve as a senior advisor. Similar the first lady, Wolkoff is unfamiliar to D.C. politics, though she was brought on as a lead organizer to President Donald Trump’s inaugural balls and celebrations.
She has since hired a senior advisor, Lindsay Reynolds, a George W. Bush administration veteran, will work with the first lady and be an assistant to the president. Still on the hiring docket is a communications director and press secretary. That last job is so essential that a volunteer has stepped in to field calls. The volunteer, Jessica Boulanger, is a former Capitol Hill staffer who is now the senior vice president for communications at the Business Roundtable.
Lastly, the Trump team has not yet named a social secretary, a position responsible for planning all White House events. Previous administrations have been known to fill this particular job before Inauguration Day.