Federal officials must represent diversity of Americans
compiled by Q-Notes staff
President and CEO of Gay and Lesbian Leadership Institute Chuck Wolfe
WASHINGTON, D.C. — National LGBT groups are coordinating a new initiative to increase the pool of LGBT professionals qualified and ready to accept politically appointed positions in the next U.S. presidential administration.
Officials with the Gay and Lesbian Leadership Institute (GLLI) announced on Feb. 19 their intention to seek well-qualified and respected LGBT applicants for the thousands of executive branch positions the next president will have to fill in 2009. GLLI will work with other leading national groups including the Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and Stonewall Democrats.
“Our goal is to make sure all Americans have an equal voice in their government. Through public service, our community demonstrates a commitment to making our country a better place for all its citizens and for every kind of family. In 1996, we worked closely with the second Clinton administration to identify gays and lesbians who were qualified to serve the president. We stand ready to help whoever is elected this November,” said Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of GLLI.
Ambassador James C. Hormel, who became the first openly gay U.S. ambassador when he was appointed by President Bill Clinton, said the project will make it easier for the next president to identify and consider talented individuals to serve his or her administration.
“We also need to say to the next president, ‘We’re ready to serve and we’re ready to lead,’” Hormel said. “The next administration must know that we are concerned about being included, determined to contribute our talents, skills and insights, and eager to participate in the hard work of governing our country.”
Fred P. Hochberg, dean of Milano The New School for Management and Urban Policy, said, “When I was appointed by President Clinton to serve in his administration, he said that in order to be true public servants, federal officials must represent the full diversity of the American people, including members of the LGBT community. We look forward to continuing to further these goals with a new administration in November.”
Hochberg served from 1998 to 2000 as deputy then acting administrator of the Small Business Administration, an agency Clinton elevated to cabinet rank.
GLLI expects to begin interacting with the presidential transition team in November 2008. The next president will continue appointing his or her staff throughout the first half of 2009. Any applicant under consideration for employment will be contacted directly by the incoming administration and not by GLLI.
Potential appointees who are openly LGBT are urged to submit an application early via a special website created for this project: www.glli.org/presidential.