Joe Biden Nominates Dr. Rachel Levine in Historic Appointment; Is First Trans Person Nominated for Senate-Confirmed Position

President-Elect Biden nominated Dr. Levine for U.S. Asst. Secretary of Health;
Coalition of more than 30 LGBTQ and allied organizations united in defending her confirmation

Washington, DC – President-elect Joe Biden nominated Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine to be the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Health – a historic nomination that makes her the first out trans person nominated for a U.S. Senate-confirmed position. LGBTQ Victory Institute’s Presidential Appointments Initiative had put forward Dr. Levine as a strong nominee for positions at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and other key agencies. The Initiative – which includes a coalition of more than 30 LGBTQ and allied organizations – will work to ensure her nomination is approved by the U.S. Senate.

Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Institute, released the following statement about the nomination of Dr. Levine:

“Our nation is fortunate to have Dr. Rachel Levine nominated for a position so important to ending this pandemic and her experience on the frontlines in Pennsylvania will prove invaluable as Assistant Secretary. Her nomination is groundbreaking and shows the Biden administration will choose the most qualified individuals to lead our nation regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Dr. Levine is making history and will transform Americans’ perceptions of trans people when she takes office and begins to work on their behalf.”

Ruben Gonzales, Executive Director of LGBTQ Victory Institute, said the following about the upcoming confirmation process:

“Dr. Levine is one of the foremost experts on responding to this pandemic and our community is united in standing with her for the confirmation fight ahead. We know transphobic members of the U.S. Senate will try to block her nomination because of her gender identity – ignoring her qualifications to try and score political points with extremists in their political base. But our Presidential Appointments Initiative coalition of more than 30 LGBTQ and allied organizations is ready to fight like hell to defend Dr. Levine and ensure she is judged on her qualifications and nothing else. The majority of Americans want whoever is best prepared to fight this pandemic and that person is Dr. Levine.”

Victory Institute’s Presidential Appointments Initiative – a coalition of 32 LGBTQ and allied organizations – will put forward hundreds of exemplary LGBTQ candidates for positions throughout the next administration and advocate for their consideration. It aims to help the Biden transition team in creating the most LGBTQ-inclusive administration 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.

President-elect Biden has already appointed a number of historic LGBTQ leaders to his administration – including Pete Buttigieg to be lead the U.S. Department of Transportation. Buttigieg is the first out LGBTQ person nominated to a permanent Cabinet position.


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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