Landmark LGBTQ Appointees to the Biden-Harris Administration

(Updated as of June 2023)

On the road to building a team that “looks like America,” President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have made diversity a priority, and their administration is on track to becoming the most LGBTQ-inclusive in history.

These LGBTQ appointees to the Biden administration, which includes the first openly LGBTQ person and the first transgender person to hold a role requiring Senate confirmation, are shattering barriers in their new roles:

Rachel Levine: Assistant Secretary of Health

Levine will be the first openly transgender federal official confirmed by the Senate, pending Senate hearing. Levine is an experienced physician who oversaw opioid crisis efforts in Pennsylvania and has been at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pete Buttigieg: Transportation Secretary

The former Mayor of South Bend, Indiana and a 2020 Presidential nominee, Buttigieg will be the first out LGBTQ person in US history to hold a full-time Cabinet post, if confirmed by the Senate.

Carlos Elizondo: White House Social Secretary

The openly-gay and military veteran Elizondo was the first LGBTQ appointee to the Biden-Harris administration back in November. Elizondo is also the first Hispanic person to hold this role.

Karine Jean-Pierre: White House Press Secretary

The first out lesbian and first Black woman to serve in this role, Jean-Pierre is an experienced activist and strategist. She is also among four women of color filling the seven top communications jobs in the White House.

Pili Tobar: White House Communications Director

Out lesbian and former Communications Director of the Biden campaign, Tobar will be working alongside Karine Jean-Pierre in the new administration’s all-women Communications team.

Stuart Delery: White House Counsel

Delery, who served in the Obama administration and argued cases challenging the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act, is the most senior openly LGBTQ official in the US Justice Department’s history.

Gautam Raghavan: Director of the Presidential Personnel Office

An openly gay, Indian American man and accomplished political advisor, Raghavan previously served as liaison to the LGBTQ and Asian American and Pacific Islander communities during the Obama administration.

It wasn’t until 2012 that the Obama administration publicly announced support for same-sex marriage. Now in the year 2021, many notable LGBTQ individuals have been appointed to serve in prominent positions under a presidential administration.  We expect the addition of queer voices to these positions of power will ensure more inclusive policy for all.

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