President Barack Obama has made more LGBT appointments than any commander-in-chief

Posted on 18 Jun 2010 at 10:54am
Col. Margarete Camermeyer
Col. Margarethe Cammermeyer

The Gay and Lesbian Leadership Institute published a list of Obama administration appointees.

The institute trains LGBT candidates on how to run an effective campaign and is related to the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, which helps raise money for endorsed candidates.

Some of the better-known names include Margarethe Cammermeyer, who is a member of the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services. Cammermeyer is the highest-ranking woman to be dismissed from the military.

Brian Bond, who formerly headed the Victory Fund, now serves as deputy director, White House Office of Public Engagement.

Vic Basile, the first executive director of the Human Rights Campaign, is now senior counselor to the director of the Office of Personnel Management.

Kevin Jennings, who founded GLSEN, is now a high-ranking official in the Department of Education, serving as deputy assistant secretary, Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools.

Kevin Jennings
Kevin Jennings

Other names might not be as familiar but are in important positions.

Fred Hochberg is chairman of the U.S. Export-Import Bank.

Mark Agrast and Judy Applebaum are deputy assistant attorneys general.

When Chai Feldblum was appointed to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the LGBT community was represented for the first time.

Although no cabinet-level appointees are on the list (Janet Napolitano is not on the list, nor was Janet Reno during the Clinton administration or Condoleezza Rice in the Bush administration), the LGBT community is represented on the undersecretary level. Kristina Johnson serves as undersecretary for the Department of Energy and Eric Fanning is a deputy under the secretary of the Navy.

For the first time a transgender person was given a federal appointment. Amanda Simpson is a senior technical advisor to the Commerce Department.

The list includes about 100 names. But the White House makes thousands of appointments. The list should grow.

UPDATE: From an alert reader, Amanda Simpson was named to her post in November 2009 after another transgender appointee, Dylan Orr, was appointed in October. Orr began working on December 7 as special assistant to Assistant Secretary of Labor Kathleen Martinez in the Office of Disability Employment Policy at the Department of Labor. Simpson didn’t get to work until January 2010. That makes Orr the first. Both serve in important positions in the administration.

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