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Fire Department Gets 1st Black Woman Commissioner As Annette Nance-Holt Picked For Top Spot

Nance-Holt has served as the department's acting commissioner but will now take over the role permanently.

Annette Nance-Holt is commissioner of the Chicago Fire Department.
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CHICAGO — The Fire Department’s new commissioner is Annette Nance-Holt, a 30-year veteran of the department.

Nance-Holt has served as the department’s acting commissioner but will now take over the role permanently, according to a Friday news release. Nance-Holt is the first woman and first Black woman to lead the department.

“Commissioner Holt has more than three decades of proven leadership and a passion for public service that makes her the perfect fit for this role,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement. “Furthermore, in a time where more work remains in order to eliminate discrimination, racism and sexism from the firefighter profession, Commissioner Holt’s history-making appointment as the first woman and Black woman to lead as Fire Commissioner couldn’t have come at a better moment.”

Nance-Holt previously served as the first deputy commissioner, among other roles in the Fire Department.

Nance-Holt and her family live in Chicago. She is the mother of Blair Holt, a teen who was shot and killed May 10, 2007, while shielding a friend on a bus. The shooting received national attention for Holt’s heroic deeds.

Nance-Holt has founded two non-profits, including a scholarship foundation in her son’s honor. She has a master’s in public administration/fire and emergency management from Anna Marie College.

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