If you want to work for the next president, it’s time to dust off your resume.
With the frontloaded primaries this year, we’ll probably know soon who the nominees for president of the United States will be, but that doesn’t mean we’ll know their picks for cabinet secretaries and other political appointees. Too early for all that, you say? Think again. The jockeying and positioning have already begun.
In Washington, we’ve seen powerful staff shape the success or failure of an administration. The president may lay out a broad agenda, but it’s his or her staff that gets the work done. If you’ve ever considered working for the federal government, now is the time to start thinking about whether you have what it takes to work for the president and help change our country.
It’s important for openly LGBT Americans to be here in DC, on the inside and at the table of power, when important decisions are made. Our ability to do that has increased markedly since 1993, when Roberta Achtenberg became first openly LGBT public official in the United States whose appointment was confirmed by the United States Senate. She was named Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development by President Bill Clinton, who also appointed James C. Hormel as the first-ever openly gay U.S. ambassador.
Today, of course, many openly LGBT professionals—Democrats and Republicans--are working throughout Washington in both political and policy roles. Thousands more are doing similar work in state capitols across America. They’ve gained broad and deep experience in one area or another, and have much to offer our country. But because they are living openly and honestly, they also have much to add to the debate over issues important to our families, and their mere presence often changes hearts and minds. After eight years of an administration that’s been mostly hostile to openly LGBT Americans, we will once again have the opportunity to contribute to our government from the inside and at the highest levels.
In the coming weeks the Gay & Lesbian Leadership Institute will announce the Presidential Appointments Project, which will serve as the talent bank for openly LGBT political appointees for the next presidential administration. The project will ensure that there is a vetted, categorized and quality supply of resumes for the next president to draw from when he or she is ready to hire key staff. Stay tuned to the Bilerico Project for more news soon.