President-elect Barack Obama’s nominee for Director of the Office of Personnel Management, John Berry, will be the highest-ranking openly gay official in US history upon confirmation. Berry will head oversee more than 5,000 employees and a $1.5 billion annual budget, reported the Bay Area Reporter.
Berry is currently the director of the National Zoo. He has previously served as assistant secretary of the Interior Department during the Clinton administration, director of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and legislative director for Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), according to the Federal Times.
Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solomonese told ABC that John Berry’s appointment “is a meaningful step forward for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.” Several other high-level positions are expected to be filled with openly gay appointees.