WASHINGTON D.C. — (12-11-21) — Openly gay deputy director Gautam Raghavan, is set to become the first openly gay Indian-American that will be the highest-ranking member of the White House staff when he becomes director of the Office of Presidential Personnel.

Raghavan has served as deputy director since President Biden took office. His promotion follows the announcement that current director of the Office of Presidential Personnel, Catherine Russell, is moving to UNICEF to become its executive director.

The White House and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres made the announcement of Russell’s appointment to UNICEF last Friday.

“Under Cathy’s leadership, the White House Office of Presidential Personnel (PPO) has broken records in both speed and diversity of hiring, working relentlessly to ensure that our federal government reflects America and delivers for the American people,” said Biden in his statement on Friday. “I am also pleased that Gautam Raghavan, who has worked in tandem with Cathy from Day One, will become PPO’s new Director — a seamless transition that will enable us to continue building a federal workforce that is efficient, effective, dependable, and diverse.” said Biden.

Gautam Raghavan Career:

Raghavan served as the associate director of the Office of Public Liaison under President Obama, acting as a liaison to both the LGBT and Asian American and Pacific Islander communities from 2011 to 2017.

As the associate director Raghavan facilitated conversation on issues impacting both the LGBT and Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, including marriage equality, workplace nondiscrimination, transgender rights, bullying prevention, immigration reform, hate violence, and access to health care.

It was during Raghavan’s tenure that President Obama spoke out in favor of marriage equality, and later signed an executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

He has also worked for the Progressive Majority, the 2008 Obama campaign, the Democratic National Committee, the Gill Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Defense as the Outreach Lead for its “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Working Group.

Raghavan’s his husband Andy and their daughter Maya are extremely proud of him.

Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer

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