January 4th, 2010
12:21 PM ET
5 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. goofy

    This country is becoming an "aberrational tell all show all side show" ! If these people are not normal don't advertise it!

    January 4, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  2. Ken in NC

    I see no problem with her being appointed if she is qualified and if she was qualified as a man, then why not as a woman or vice versa. The only change ones sexual orientation should make on the job is where you go to the rest room.

    January 4, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  3. R M Cepp

    Way to go, President Obama. Now please do something about don't ask, don't tell in the military. Don't ask, don't tell is fine, people aren't asked if they are heterosexual. But to throw people out if they are found to be gay is unjust descrimination, and just plain stupid. There have been gays in the military since the beginning of time. If the present military is too delicate to handle this change, maybe they should go to more delicate jobs. My father died at the Bulge. I would like to think he died for his country and everyone in it.

    January 4, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  4. Sarah, Northern Colorado

    It sounds like she's very well qualified for the position. Congratulations on the appointment!

    January 4, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  5. chuck

    So many heterosexuals seem to just relent when they hear about things like this. They seem to know that there is nothing they can do anymore to stop gay rights. They know that the church is losing its agenda against gay rights and nondiscrimination is slowly working its way into our civil society. There is mostly an overwhelming feeling of indifference. We get the "so what" attitudes. They see the stupidity of some religions around the world and seem to have started to look closer at and question their own religious teachings. They gay community would love more help in achieving equal rights with the rest of the country, but most heterosexuals would not lend a hand to write a letter to a Congressperson or Senator. They seem to just want to set back and let the snails pace of equality flow at its own pace. They will no longer fight to keep gays in their second class place, but they will not lend a helping hand either – even if their own children are gay.

    January 4, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  6. Fitz in Texas

    Who cares as long as they can do the job. As a rule President Obama has proven time after time he's unable to appoint people to positions that are capable of doing the job. Timothy Geithner, Janet Napolitano, Joe Biden... just to name a few. Lets hope this appointment of Amanda Simpson is an exception to the rule.

    January 4, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  7. CHANGE.COM

    Her race ro sexual orientation shouldn't even be a factor to write about. Question is: is she/he qualified? The resounding answer is Yes! Case closed.

    January 4, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  8. Dodie

    An appointed job should be based on ability, not sexual orientation! Why should this even be news?

    January 4, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  9. Shannon, Chicago

    Congrats Amanda!

    January 4, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  10. Jessica

    First off, I can't wait till the day this is not news. Secondly, sexual orientation has nothing to do with gender identity, they are mutually exclusive things. Sex (or what people perceive your sex to be) does not equal Gender identity.

    January 4, 2010 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  11. Brett

    I love how the title of this article is "transgender woman appointed," instead of "woman that worked in aerospace and defense industries for 30 years appointed." Classic cnn.

    January 4, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  12. O

    Amanda Simpson...Congrats on the appointment for a position you highly qualified to fulfill.

    January 4, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  13. Caesar the Great

    Is she the most qualified person for the position? If the answer is yes, then congrats to her. If she got the position because of her orientation that is wrong. I dont understand why this is in the "PT" but then again Im still waiting for my Palin story, its been about 20 mins since I've seen one.

    January 4, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  14. Peter s

    As far as you ar not confused whether you have Male or Female brains! and you can do the job perfectly, the genitals are insignificant.

    January 4, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  15. Thomas

    As long as the person can do a good job, who cares about their past/current/future gender?

    January 4, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  16. gary davis harbor oregon

    thats great , it proves the president doesn't care what he or she is . but just keep in mind ,she got the job because she was qualified , and not because she was a man changed to a WOMAN . so lets leave it at that MEDIA ,CNN and the republican good ole boys . humanity is still having a problem with people having the ability to choose what sex they want to be .. I am happy that they have the ability to be able to get repaired . and the world needs to come to treat them as they are no different .

    good job MR. PRESIDENT
    CHANGE HAS COME TO AMERICA WITH A GREAT MAN AS PRESIDENT :)

    January 4, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  17. JR

    Now that is change you can believe in!

    January 4, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  18. Mar

    Good for her and the Obama Administration....

    January 4, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  19. A.

    I'm sure she's competent, but it doesn't hurt that she's also attractive. Gotta start some where!

    January 4, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  20. Laverne

    Welcome to America!

    January 4, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
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