Gay Man to Be Tapped As Deputy Director of Obama's Public Liaison Office

Advocate.com has confirmed that Brian Bond, a 25-year political veteran, will be named by President-elect Barack Obama as deputy director of the Office of Public Liaison.

BY Kerry Eleveld

January 08 2009 1:00 AM ET

A transition team
aide has told The Advocate that
President-elect Barack Obama will name Brian Bond
deputy director of the White House Office of Public
Liaison. 

Bond, a political
veteran who has headed the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund
and held several positions at the Democratic National
Committee, will have managerial and strategic
responsibilities for the entire Public Liaison office
as well as function as the point person on LGBT
issues. The liaison office is tasked with communicating
and promoting presidential policies to individual
constituency groups and serving as a sounding board
for the president on policies that affect certain
interest groups.

Several LGBT
insiders on Capitol Hill said Bond, who served as
director of constituencies for the president-elect during
his campaign, was a great fit for the position.
“He’s a very skillful and experienced
political strategist,” said Bob Witeck, CEO of the
D.C.-based Witeck-Combs Communications, who has known
Bond for 15 years. “His knowledge of our
community and the competence he has in working with both
leaders and activists is immense.”

Bond served as
executive director of the Victory Fund, a national
bipartisan group that works to elect openly gay people to
public office, from 1997 to 2003. Jeff Trammell, a
Democratic strategist and senior adviser to Vice
President Al Gore during his presidential bid, cochaired
the organization in the late 1990s and was instrumental in
hiring Bond for the position.

“We had to
rebuild the Victory Fund,” Trammell recalled, noting
that the organization was nearly bankrupt at that
point. “We were very impressed with both his
passion for our issues and his savvy, his political
smarts.” Trammell called Bond’s tenure a
“turning point moment” for the
organization and said he laid the foundation for the current
work being done there. “He basically built that
place -- he took us from the ground floor up a number
of levels so that we could build that skyscraper.”

Witeck said
Bond’s years at the Victory Fund were a great
training ground for the responsibilities he will
assume. “Its mission is really to make our
elected and appointed officials better policy
people,” he explained. “So that
connection -- from his role at the Victory Fund into the
realm of the Democratic Party and ultimately the White
House -- is to translate those skills into getting and
keeping openly LGBT political leaders and policy
makers in positions where they can do the most good.”

Tags: Politics

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