Michael Crawford

Gay man to recruit Obama appointees

Filed By Michael Crawford | January 24, 2009 2:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Barack Obama, Mark Perriello, Obama and LGBT rights, Obama appointments, Perriello

President Obama has appointed smart and talented gay people to positions within his administration, Mark Perriello.jpgbut the appointment of Mark Perriello to the White House Office of Presidential Personnel is the one that I am most excited about. Mark will focus on recruiting federal employees.

Mark and I have been friends since 2000 when we were both on staff at HRC. Over the last eight years we have worked together, danced together, argued politics, scoped out boys and vied for the affections of his kitties Apollo and Starbuck. Mark has proven himself again and again to be incredibly intelligent, creative, focused and fiercely loyal.

If I could choose one person to get political with, it would be Mark.

Before being appointed to work with the Obama administration, Mark headed the Presidential Appointments Project, a partnership of twelve organizations committed to identifying LGBT people willing to serve in the new administration. Through his work with the Project Mark has worked with nearly 1,500 LGBT people who have sought jobs with the Obama administration.

Openly gay appointments to the Obama administration include:

John Berry - Director of the Office of Personnel Management
Brad Kiley - Director of the White House Office of Management and Administration
Fred Hochberg - Chairman of the Export-Import Bank
Brian Bond - Deputy Director of the White House Office of Public Liaison
Dave Noble - White House Liaison, NASA
Nancy Sutley - Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality
David Medina - Deputy Chief of Staff for the First Lady
Ebs Burrnough - Deputy Social Secretary
Karine Jean-Pierre--White House Liaison, Depart of Labor
Anthony Bernal - Director of Scheduling for Dr. Jill Biden

Here is what Chuck Wolfe, President and CEO of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund had to say about Mark Perriello.

For more than a year we have coordinated the LGBT community's
Presidential Appointments Project. At the helm of the Project, Mark Perriello spent countless hours advocating on behalf of openly LGBT applicants for presidential appointments. His dedication and hard work has been noted by members of the Obama-Biden Transition Team, who publicly lauded the Project for its organization and professionalism. So it is my great pleasure to announce that Mark himself has accepted an appointment to work for President Obama. Starting Monday, Mark will be a Director in the White House Office of Presidential Personnel.

I am proud of Mark's work at the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and Leadership Institute. His appointment is a testament to the ability he demonstrated during this Project to bring together diverse groups, identify common goals and navigate competing interests. He will be a tremendous asset as President Obama works to build an administration that reflects the diversity of America.


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Hey Michael. You think he can get me a job in the Obama administration? He has no trans people yet. How about Sec of the Navy?

That's a joke, but what isn't a joke is that there hasn't been a trans person brought into the administration. You think your friend can help? There are plenty of well qualified trans people in this country.

I'd love to be a space waiter on Air Force 1 or 2. Working at the zoo would be pretty cool too. I'm a simple man with simple needs.

President Obama needs real mean with shovels to repair the infrastructure. The kind of strong backs that built the White House and the Congress building. Are you bureaucratic gays in Washington good at hard hat infrastructure work, welding bridges and repairing roads and sewer lines. "The Village People" just an act? The smell of tar would irritate me.

Marla R. Stevens Marla R. Stevens | January 25, 2009 6:32 AM

Congratulations to Mr. Perriello! Marvelous news!

I would like to see the "first out black gay or lesbian, BT" appointed to a position in President Obama's administration. As far as I know there are none. Why ?