First Out Lesbian and First Out LGBTQ Person of Color Confirmed to Ambassador-Level Post

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

Washington, DC – Today the U.S. Senate confirmed Chantale Wong as U.S. 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.

About Victory Institute

LGBTQ Victory Institute works to achieve and sustain global equality through leadership development, training, and convening to increase the number, expand the diversity, and ensure the success of openly LGBTQ elected and appointed officials at all levels of government.

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