Barack Obama’s selection of Nancy Sutley as chairwoman of the Council on Environmental Quality marks the first prominent, openly gay or lesbian to join his cabinet.
The news was widely covered in the gay press and Web sites.
“President-elect Obama’s nomination of Nancy Sutley is another step toward full equality for gay Americans,” Chuck Wolfe, president of the Gay & Lesbian Leadership Institute, said in a statement.
“It sends a signal to young people that they can participate in their government at its highest levels, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender or ethnicity.”
Sutley is currently the Los Angeles deputy mayor for energy and environment and the mayor's rep on the board of directors for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. She also was a member of Hillary Clinton's California Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender steering committee during the state's primary.
Sutley has spent more than a decade in senior environmental, energy and water policy-making positions in California, according to The New York Times. A former aide to Carol Browner, the former EPA director during the Clinton administration and now Obama’s czar for policy, Sutley also has experience dealing with budget and legislative matters at the state and federal level. She is closely tied to figures in Los Angeles city and California state politics.
Sutley, 46, holds a bachelor’s degree in government from Cornell University and a master’s in public policy from Harvard.
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