Amanda Simpson, a member of the board of directors of the National Center for Transgender Equality, has been appointed Senior Technical Advisor to the Department of Commerce by President Obama, according to NCTE.
“I’m truly honored to have received this appointment and am eager and excited about this opportunity that is before me. And at the same time, as one of the first transgender presidential appointees to the federal government, I hope that I will soon be one of hundreds, and that this appointment opens future opportunities for many others,” Simpson said in a statement released by NCTE today.
Obama is the first U.S. president to appoint openly transgender individuals to executive branch positions. Simpson is among more than 100 openly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons appointed by Obama so far, many of whom participated in the LGBT community’s Presidential Appointments Project, which is coordinated by the Gay & Lesbian Leadership Institute.
According to NCTE:
Simpson brings considerable professional credentials to her new job. For thirty years, she has worked in the aerospace and defense industry, most recently serving as Deputy Director in Advanced Technology Development at Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, Arizona. She holds degrees in physics, engineering and business administration along with an extensive flight background. She is a certified flight instructor and test pilot with 20 years of experience.
She has also been very active in political and community groups. She has served on the Board of Directors of two national organizations: Out & Equal and NCTE. In Arizona, she has been on the board of Wingspan, the Southern Arizona Gender Alliance, the Southern Arizona ACLU and the Arizona Human Rights Fund (now Equality Arizona).