EDGARTOWN, Mass. (TheBlaze/AP) -- The White House has hired its first openly transgender staff member.
The White House announced Raffi Freedman-Gurspan's appointment on Tuesday. Freedman-Gurspan is an outreach and recruitment director for presidential personnel in the Office of Personnel. Transgender advocates say she is the first openly transgender official to serve in the White House.
Freedman-Gurspan previously was a policy adviser for the National Center for Transgender Equality's racial and economic justice initiative.
Advocates hailed her appointment as an important step for the LGBT community and for ensuring that the federal government includes the voices and experiences of all Americans.
White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett says Freedman-Gurspan's commitment to improving the lives of transgender Americans reflects the values of the Obama administration.
“President Obama has long said he wants his administration to look like the American people. I have understood this to include transgender Americans,” Mara Keisling, executive director for the NCTE, told Politico.
“A transgender person was inevitably going to work in the White House. That the first transgender appointee is a transgender woman of color is itself significant. And that the first White House transgender appointee is of a friend is inspiring to me and to countless others who have been touched by Raffi’s advocacy," Keisling added.