January 4th, 2010
12:21 PM ET
4 years ago

Transgender woman appointed to Commerce Department

President Obama on Monday appointed Amanda Simpson to be a technical advisor at the Commerce Department.
President Obama on Monday appointed Amanda Simpson to be a technical advisor at the Commerce Department.

Washington (CNN) - President Obama appointed a transgender woman, Amanda Simpson, to be a Technical Advisor at the Commerce Department.

Simpson has worked in the aerospace and defense industry for 30 years, and most recently served as Deputy Director in Advanced Technology Development at Raytheon Missile Systems in Tuscon, Arizona. At Raytheon, she made the transition from male to female and helped convince the company to include gender identity and expression to its equal opportunity employment policy.

"I'm truly honored to have received this appointment and am eager and excited about this opportunity that is before me," Simpson said in a statement released by the National Center for Transgender Equality. "And at the same time, as one of the first transgender presidential appointees to the federal government, I hope that I will soon be one of hundreds, and that this appointment opens future opportunities for many others."

Simpson, who was named one of the YWCA's "Women on the Move" in 2004, was a delegate for Hillary Clinton at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.


Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Jonathan Burton

    Sexual orientation should not be an issue in appointing the right person for the job. At any rate this woman likely faced much more discrimination and adversity due to her condition. She is likely well suited for the job she was appointed to.

    January 4, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  2. Brian

    So what?

    January 4, 2010 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  3. Kyle, Virginia

    This is awesome. Congrats on the new job!

    January 4, 2010 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  4. Jennifer NYC

    I am sure she is a very competent person. Bully for her!!

    January 4, 2010 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  5. Robert S

    Not particularly news worthy but we need to create a society that makes this not news worthy. I have interacted with transgender before and at first I will admit it kind of shocked me but after I got over my initial response; it makes no difference and they are just like everyone else.

    January 4, 2010 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  6. Florence

    I sure hope she deserves her post as a merit and not because it’s hip to be broadminded and non-judgmental. As Mr. Yarkoni, the Israeli aviation expert said "a good profiling is distinction not discrimination". I think in these times and days, we need to follow his advice rather than care about being politically correct.

    January 4, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  7. Right Leaning Independent

    I am not sure what to say here... Was it because the person was the best candidate for the job or because Obama wants another historical moment in his presidency?

    January 4, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  8. Jane/Seattle

    Ability NOT Gender needs to be the primary consideration. Sounds like this person has the skills and experience for this position. just look at all the incompetent boobs in politics today! Some kids could do a better job than many self-aggrandizing politicians, especially in the morals department!

    January 4, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  9. robwestchester

    Good for her. Congratulations!

    January 4, 2010 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  10. Independent

    Who cares what she is as long as she/he can do the JOB

    January 4, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  11. Tammy

    As long as she can do the job. There but for the Grace of God go so many who enjoy criticising everything.

    January 4, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  12. Michael from Ventura

    Excellent! Any American who is qualified should be able to get a position like that!

    January 4, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  13. Phil - IN

    Non-story....moving on....

    January 4, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  14. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Now if she could just manage to overcome that awful psychological disorder of thinking like a Democrat...

    January 4, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  15. jm

    Um, so what? I am glad that we're more open minded and that transgender persons are getting the same opportunities, but if it's the same opportunities, why is this news? If she was a woman from birth (is that offensive? I don't mean it to be), then it would be just any other appointment. Why is this news?

    January 4, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  16. cyrus

    Good for you! Congratulations!

    January 4, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  17. craig

    As long as she is being appointed for her qualifications – and it appears she is – then I don't see how anybody could have objections.

    January 4, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  18. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Who cares, as long as she is qualified.

    January 4, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  19. NJ Jim

    Congratulations to Ms. Simpson. Her employment background and credentials appear to make her well suited for the position to which she's been appointed. A nice step forward for equality, too. Good luck!

    January 4, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  20. Ready for 2012

    CNN, why did you have to announce that the person was a transgender woman??? What does this contribute to the story? Why make it an issue by putting it in the title of the report??

    Shame on you CNN!!!!

    January 4, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  21. Steph

    Good for her, and good for the country!

    January 4, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  22. Gorko

    Hey, The repubs had Ann Coulter for so long and nobody complained about that.

    January 4, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  23. U go, girl

    The job should be filled based on knowledge, skill, ability and potential. The Bush administration would have likely tortured her, then shipped her to Guantanamo.

    January 4, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  24. terry,va

    I wouldn't expect anything less from Obummie. This country is going the route of the Roman Empire.

    January 4, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  25. Kathleen Isabell

    Thank you Mr. President for paving the way for further equality among all people. And congratulations to Ms. Simpson! Exciting news, not only for TG people, but for all people. After all, we are all human.

    January 4, 2010 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
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