First Woman of Color to Lead Chicago Fire Department

Annette Nance-Holt will become the first woman of color to lead the Chicago Fire Department in the department's 162-history.

The Chicago City Council has voted to approve the selection of Nance-Holt, a 30-year veteran of the CFD and currently serving as acting commissioner of the department, as Chicago Fire Department commissioner.

"It's official," Mayor Lori Lightfoot tweeted after the council's vote. "Annette Nance-Holt has made Chicago history by becoming the first Black woman to serve as Chicago Fire Department commissioner."

Mayor Lori Lightfoot nominated Nance-Holt to serve as the first Black woman to run the Chicago Fire Department.Lightfoot had previously come under fire for what conservatives called "anti-white racism" by prioritizing the needs of people of color.

Nance-Holt is the mother of Blair Holt, a 16-year-old Julian High School honor student who was shot and killed in 2007, as he was trying to shield a classmate from gunfire on a CTA bus. She and Blair’s father, retired Chicago Police Cmdr. Ronald Holt, have become outspoken advocates for victims of gun violence ever since.

A product of the Chicago Public Schools and a graduate of Chicago State University, Nance-Holt has been a firefighter since 1990, four years after the first women were hired at CFD. Lightfoot said Nance-Holt has served in virtually every role at the department, except for engineer.

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