Obama Picks Two Transgender People for Presidential Appointments
Obama has been taking steps to ensure his legacy of being the most inclusive President in our history as he has appointed dozens of individuals to government posts in his final week in office.
White House LGBT Liaison, Raffi Freedman-Gurspan, was appointed as a member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council. She made history by becoming the first openly transgender person to serve as a White House staffer back in 2015 when she was appointed as Outreach and Recruitment Director in the Presidential Personnel Office.
Now ending her term as LGBT Liaison, Freedman-Gurspan has expressed concern that President-Elect Trump will dissolve the position. “If we don’t have a particular individual here in this building who has an immense amount of influence and power and impact—that’s a loss,” she told Buzzfeed. “There is no one inside the hallways to advocate for the community, so we lose an internal advocate.” Freedman-Gurspan also was concerned that the white house would “lose touch” and also “lose the ability to inform the President about the LGBT community and its needs.
The President also appointed Shawn Skelly, a Navy veteran who recently served as Director of the Executive Secretariat at the Department of Transportation, to National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service. Skelly served over 20 years in the Navy and retired at the rank of Commander in 2008. She was a Naval Flight Officer and flew the S-3B Viking in the fleet off the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk and the U.S.S. Carl Vinson.
“These fine public servants bring a depth of experience and tremendous dedication to their important roles. I know they will serve the American people well,” President Obama said in a statement about all of his new appointees on Monday.