President Donald Trump Wednesday appointed former White House spokesman Sean Spicer to serve on the Naval Academy Board of Visitors, and former Maryland first lady Kendel Ehrlich to be the White House’s head of drug control policy, the White House said in a statement.
Spicer said he grew up visiting Annapolis for the National Sailboat Show and is a regular visitor to the academy, often taking his children to football games at Navy Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
“I sailed there when I was a kid for high school nationals but that’s as close as I ever got to getting in,” he said.
“I’m no stranger to the academy ... there’s obviously a huge affinity for the school around nation and what it means to officers in the Navy.”
Spicer attended the U.S. Naval War College and is a commander in the Naval Reserve. He will serve a three-year term that will end in 2021.
“It’s a huge honor for me so I’m going to do everything I can to be as involved as permitted,” Spicer said.
The Board of Visitors “provides a critical role in overseeing the state of morale and discipline, the curriculum, instruction, physical equipment, fiscal affairs, academic methods, and other matters relating to the Naval Academy which the Board decides to consider,” a Naval Academy spokeswoman said.
“We welcome Mr. Spicer, and look forward to working with him as part of the Naval Academy Board of Visitors," the board’s chairman, Christine Fox, said.
Spicer is best known for his time as Trump’s first White House press secretary. During that time, his relationship with the press could be confrontational. He made false claims about the size of Trump’s inauguration crowd and once hid among bushes to avoid members of the news media. He resigned in July 2017.
Melissa McCarthy’s impression of Spicer on “Saturday Night Live” earned him the nickname “Spicey."
Ehrlich, the wife of former Gov. Bob Ehrlich, said she is appreciative of Trump’s support in battling the national wave of opioid addictions and overdoses.
“This president has been incredibly supportive. All agencies of government are attacking this in their purview,” Ehrlich said. “It’s wonderful work. It makes you recognize this is one of the top issues in the country. It hits every community. I’m proud to be a part of such important work.”
The White House’s statement said she currently serves as the associate director of external affairs at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. She manages the public appearances and media engagements for drug policy Director Jim Carroll and helps to coordinate policy efforts.
Ehrlich said she has been at the White House drug policy office in external affairs since April.
Ehrlich is a former Anne Arundel County prosecutor, working there before she married Ehrlich, a former state delegate, member of Congress and then governor from 2003 to 2007. She returned to the State’s Attorney’s Office as a drug court prosecutor. She left after the 2018 election of Anne Colt Leitess.
“I loved that position. I love all the issues surrounding it and the next step for me was policy,” she said.