Tuesday, February 27, 2024
Politics

Ambassador Chantale Wong to be U.S. Director to the Asian Development Bank

Congratulations to Chantale Wong, the first out lesbian and LGBTQ person of color confirmed to an ambassador-level post.

On Feb. 8, the United States Senate confirmed Chantale Wong as United States Director to the Asian Development Bank, a post with the rank of ambassador. Wong is the first out lesbian and first out LGBTQ person of color in U.S. history to be appointed to an ambassador-level position. Wong was formerly CFO of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, Budget Director at NASA and Acting Budget Director of the U.S. Treasury Department. She was also a U.S. representative to the Asian Development Bank.

Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Institute, released the following statement about the announcement:

“Ambassador Wong is now one of the highest-ranking leaders of U.S. economic and international policy in Asia and is well-positioned to leverage her exceptional qualifications and experience. As the first out LGBTQ person of color confirmed to an ambassador-level position, Ambassador Wong is also a symbol of hope and strength for LGBTQ leaders and community members fighting for LGBTQ rights across the globe. Millions of people still live in countries that criminalize LGBTQ people and deny them the right to marry, including many members states of the Asian Development Bank. Her appointment is a powerful statement to those nations.”

Victory Institute’s Presidential Appointments Initiative works with the administration to recommend and advocate for qualified LGBTQ leaders ready to serve in the administration. It advocated for Wong’s nomination from the first day of the Biden-Harris administration and supported her throughout the nomination and confirmation process. One of the Initiative’s four priority goals is the appointment of out LGBTQ women ambassadors, LGBTQ ambassadors of color, and transgender ambassadors for the first time. Victory Institute aims to help the Biden administration become the most LGBTQ-inclusive in U.S. history.

The Initiative – first launched by Victory Institute during President Bill Clinton’s administration – achieved unprecedented success under President Barack Obama, who appointed approximately 330 LGBTQ people, the most in history. Of those, 158 were assisted by the Presidential Appointments Initiative.

The National Center For Lesbian Rights also applauded the United States Senate vote of 66-31 to confirm Wong.

NCLR Executive Director Imani Rupert-Gordon stated: “When President Biden took office a year ago, he pledged to transform the Executive Branch by including appointments that reflected the full diversity of our great nation – including people of color and members of the LGBTQ+ community. From appointing Secretary Buttigieg and Admiral Rachel Levine – the first Senate-confirmed openly gay and transgender cabinet-level appointments respectively – to today’s confirmation of Ambassador Wong, it is clear that President Biden is intent on fulfilling that promise. 

While there is still much work to be done on elevating LGBTQ nominees to federal judicial roles, we are heartened to see LGBTQ individuals finally being represented in the highest levels of government for the first time in history,” continued Rupert-Gordon

The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) is a national legal organization committed to advancing the human and civil rights of the LGBTQ community through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education. Since its founding, NCLR has maintained a longstanding commitment to racial and economic justice and the LGBTQ community’s most vulnerable. 

Queer Forty Staff

Queer Forty writing staff work hard to bring you all the latest articles to help inspire and inform.

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