Diversity at the White House
Following through on earlier promises of bringing diversity into the administration, Obama has appointed Amanda Simpson to the position of Senior Technical Advisor to the Department of Commerce.
With thirty years of experience in the aerospace and defense industry she is highly qualified, experienced, and also the first transgender appointee of the Obama administration.
Aware that some would see her appointment as a political maneuver, Simpson told ABC news, "[There will be] questions like: Is this a token? Are you here to do a job or just to fill a quota or appease other people? In that regard it makes it a bit more difficult, I'm sure I will have to do and intend to do a far superior job than any other person. But I'm sure I will always be second guessed."
A former test pilot, Simpson worked previously as deputy director at Raytheon Missile Systems. There she transitioned from male to female and helped bring about a change in the companies policy to protect gender identity and expression under its equal employment opportunity policy. She also ran for the Arizona House of Representatives in 2004 and though lost the general election, she was the first openly transgendered person to win a primary election in the US.
Strangely the White House has not yet officially announced the appointment, though the Commerce website lists Simpson in its directory and in a statement reported by the New York Daily News she said, "As one of the first transgender presidential appointees to the federal government, I hope that I will soon be one of hundreds."
Begining this year the White House also quietly added gender identity protection for all federal workers.Tweet