Gay Indian-American staffer handed crucial White House role helping to shape Joe Biden’s administration

Nick Duffy
·2-min read

Barack Obama’s former White House LGBT+ liaison has been appointed to a key role under Joe Biden.

Gautam Raghavan, a gay Indian-American who oversaw LGBT+ outreach from 2011 to 2014 in the Obama administration, has been appointed as deputy director of the Office of Presidential Personnel.

The role places him at the centre of staffing the administration, giving him a key position working through “identifying, recruiting and vetting the more than 4,000 political appointments across the federal government”.

Raghavan has plenty of LGBT+ policy experience, serving as outreach lead for the Pentagon’s repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell before joining the Obama-era White House.

He is currently part of Joe Biden’s transition team, LGBTQ Victory Institute says, and has apparently been key to “efforts to ensure qualified out LGBTQ people are appointed throughout the new administration”.

Joe Biden hailed for ‘commitment to diversity’ with White House hires

Victory Institute said his appointment to the new role is “another strong indicator of the administration’s commitment to diversity”.

Annise Parker, President and CEO of LGBTQ Victory Institute, said: “Gautam’s appointment demonstrates the president-elect’s long-term commitment to building an administration that is reflective of America.

“He believes a diverse administration best serves the president and our nation and will ensure appointing qualified LGBTQ people, women and people of colour at every level of government remains a priority for the next four years.

“Gautam also understands our community is not monolithic and that LGBTQ people of all races, sexual orientations and gender identities must be part of the new administration.

“He is an excellent choice and our Presidential Appointments Initiative team looks forward to continue working with him.”

White House staff: Joe Biden has appointed Gautam Raghavan as Deputy Director of the Office of Presidential Personnel.
Gautam Raghavan has been appointed as Deputy Director of the Office of Presidential Personnel.

LGBT+ staffers get key jobs under Joe Biden

Raghavan is one of several LGBT+ staffers to get roles in the Biden administration, with former Presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg leading the pack as Secretary for Transportation.

Meanwhile, Carlos Elizondo will fill the role of social secretary for the incoming White House, while Black lesbian trailblazer Karine Jean-Pierre will serve as deputy White House press secretary.