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All the
President's Men and Women

All the
President's Men and Women


As the knock-down drag-out race for the Democratic presidential nomination wears on, LGBT political insiders have begun speculating about possible administration gigs. If Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton goes on to win in November, who might the new president tap for high-level appointments or key White House staff? The Advocate offers a sneak peek at a few of the contenders for both camps -- and a couple of unaffiliated talents either candidate may draft.


Steve Hildebrand, political strategistCampaign role: deputy national campaign manager A longtime confidant of former Senate majority leader Tom Daschle and an early Obama booster, Hildebrand was Midwest political director for the Democratic National Committee and political director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. In 2005 he launched a consulting firm with politico Paul Tewes.

Jeremy Bernard and Rufus Gifford, cofounders, B+G AssociatesCampaign role: financial consultants This duo oversees fund-raising for Obama in California. Bernard worked on Bill Clinton's first presidential campaign and was a delegate to the 1996, 2000, and 2004 Democratic National Conventions and will be there this year; Gifford is a former movie industry executive who raised $30 million as the DNC's deputy finance director for western states during John Kerry's 2004 campaign.

Matt Nosanchuk, counsel to Sen. Bill NelsonCampaign role: convener of Obama's LGBT Policy Committee, member of his National LGBT Leadership Council Before working in the Senate, Nosanchuk was a senior policy fellow for Third Way, founding the progressive think tank's gay equality initiative. He also had stints at the House Judiciary Committee and the Justice Department.

Stampp Corbin, technology executive and entrepreneurCampaign role: member of National LGBT Leadership Council Corbin's history with Obama dates back to his Chicago childhood, when he and Michelle Obama were schoolmates; years later, the three attended Harvard together. The founder of technology firms RetroBox and Resource One, Corbin was a national adviser to the Small Business Administration under President Clinton.

Tobias Wolff, University of Pennsylvania law professorCampaign role: chair of Obama's LGBT Policy Committee Wolff is an expert on civil procedure and constitutional law who has consulted on major class action proceedings and is on the executive board of the Equal Justice Society. Before his academic career, he was a litigator at the blue-chip firm Paul, Weiss.

Also in the running...

Eric Stern, associate director, career development, University of California, Berkeley, law school Stern has been executive director of National Stonewall Democrats and head of the DNC's LGBT outreach program. Before endorsing Obama he was an adviser to John Edwards's campaign.

David Mixner, political strategist and activist Mixner, an unofficial adviser to elected officials and business leaders on domestic and foreign policy for decades, became a prominent Obama supporter after Edwards bowed out. He was national chairman for Rep. Richard Gephardt's 2004 presidential campaign and a key player in Bill Clinton's first White House run.

Ben LaBolt, campaign spokesman Before joining the campaign, LaBolt worked in Obama's Senate office, and he's a former aide to Democratic congresswoman Jan Schakowsky of Illinois. He also put in time on Howard Dean's 2004 campaign and at the DNC.

Kevin Jennings, executive director, Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network Jennings, a former high school history teacher, founded GLSEN in 1990.


Guy Cecil, political activistCampaign role: national political and field director Before joining the campaign full-time, Cecil was political director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, where he developed the multimillion-dollar voter contact program that helped Dems win control of the Senate in 2006.

Mark Walsh, CEO, GeniusRocketCampaign role: LGBT outreach director An entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and activist who served as head of Internet strategy for John Kerry's 2004 campaign, Walsh is the former chief technology adviser for the Democratic National Committee and was the founding CEO of Air America.

Roberta Achtenberg, workforce and economic development consultantCampaign role: on the LGBT Americans for Hillary Steering Committee Achtenberg was the first openly gay appointee nominated by a president and confirmed by the Senate when she became assistant secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development under Bill Clinton. She quit in 1995 to run (unsuccessfully) for San Francisco mayor.

Fred Hochberg, dean of the Milano School for Management and Urban Policy at the New SchoolCampaign role: on the LGBT Americans for Hillary Steering Committee Hochberg, who founded the investment firm Heyday Co., was deputy, then acting, administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration under President Clinton.

Elizabeth Birch, founder, Birch & Co.Campaign role: on the LGBT Americans for Hillary Steering Committee The former executive director of the Human Rights Campaign and the current CEO of her own consulting firm as well as Rosie O'Donnell's production company, Birch was a senior adviser for Howard Dean's failed presidential bid.

Sheila James Kuehl, California state senatorCampaign role: on the LGBT Americans for Hillary Steering Committee Kuehl was the first openly gay person to be elected to the California legislature and was chosen to address the Democratic National Convention in 1996 and 2000.

Also in the running...

Doug Hattaway, president and CEO, Hattaway Communications Hattaway is a campaign veteran who served as spokesman for the Gore campaign in 2000.

Claire Lucas, entrepreneur-philanthropist A longtime Democratic Party volunteer and donor, Lucas currently chairs the Democratic National Committee LGBT Leadership Council.

Eldie Acheson, vice president and general counsel, Amtrak A former trial attorney, Acheson served as assistant attorney general under Bill and went to Wellesley with Hillary.

Q. Todd Dickinson, chief intellectual property counsel, General Electric Dickinson served as director of the Patent and Trademark Office and undersecretary of Commerce in the Clinton administration.

Peter Pappas, broadcast executive Pappas served in several capacities in the Clinton administration, including assistant White House counsel.

Mirian Saez, director, Treasure Island Development Authority Vice chair of the DNC's LGBT Caucus, Saez was the director of the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Office of Rental Assistance under Bill.


Robert Raben, founder, Raben Group Unaffiliated with either candidate, Raben launched his influential political consulting and lobbying practice after stints as a senior aide to Barney Frank, counsel for the House Judiciary Committee, and assistant attorney general for legislative affairs under Bill Clinton.

Kate Kendell, executive director, National Center for Lesbian Rights Kendell, who has led the powerful San Francisco-based organization since 1996, is also unaffiliated to date. Before joining NCLR, where she's also served as legal director, she worked for the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah.

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