President Barack Obama on Monday selected two transgender people for presidential appointments. Raffi Freedman-Gurspan and Shawn Skelly are among dozens of individuals Obama has appointed to government posts in his final weeks in office.
Freedman-Gurspan, who is currently the White House LGBT Liaison, was appointed as a member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council. In August 2015, she became the very first openly trans White House staffer when she was appointed as Outreach and Recruitment Director in the Presidential Personnel Office.
Skelly, a Navy veteran who most recently served as Director of the Executive Secretariat at the Department of Transportation, was appointed as a member of the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service.
“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 Monday regarding his full list of appointees.
Mara Keisling, Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, applauded the President’s move to nominate these “two stellar government officials.”
“This shows yet again that the President is committed to ensuring that our government truly reflects the people it is representing,” Keisling said in a statement.