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Obama to Name Out
L.A. Deputy Mayor to Environmental Post

Obama to Name Out
L.A. Deputy Mayor to Environmental Post

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A Democratic aide has confirmed to The Advocate that President-elect Obama is preparing to name Los Angeles deputy mayor Nancy Sutley, who is gay, as a senior member of his environmental team, as reported Wednesday by the Los Angeles Times. The information comes on the heels of an Advocate.com story Tuesday about the lack of openly gay people in President-elect Obama's inner circle.

A Democratic aide has confirmed to The Advocate that President-elect Obama will be naming Los Angeles deputy mayor Nancy Sutley, who is gay, as a senior member of his environmental team, as reported Wednesday by the Los Angeles Times.

Sutley, who currently serves as deputy mayor of energy and the environment, will be named chairwoman of the Council of Environmental Quality, which helps develop environmental policy and advises the White House on such matters.

The leaked announcement comes at a time when gay Democrats have been beginning to express concerns over the absence of LGBT representation in President-elect Obama's senior-level appointees. Sutley originally supported Sen. Hillary Clinton in the primaries and was a member of her Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Steering Committee in California.

But following the election, Obama asked her to join a team that is reviewing the Environmental Protection Agency. She will become the first out person named to a prominent position in the administration by President-elect Obama.

Nancy Sutley has a rich background in environmental public policy at both the federal and state levels, having served on the California State Water Resources Control Board, as energy adviser to Gov. Gray Davis, and as the deputy secretary for policy and intergovernmental relations within the California Environmental Protection Agency. As an appointee to the EPA, she helped shape water and air pollution policy, lobbied congressional leadership, and formulated budget and legislative priorities.

Denis Dison of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund said he was pleased to see an LGBT appointee added to Obama's roster but still has his sights set on a higher prize.

"I think the community is still hoping that we will see an openly LGBT cabinet secretary," Dison said. "There are still names out there that we would like to see appointed, like John Berry."

Berry, who is director of the Smithsonian National Zoo and former executive director of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, is reportedly under consideration for secretary of the Interior, the governmental steward of all U.S. public land. The Victory Fund's Gay and Lesbian Leadership Institute has been collecting and vetting LGBT candidates who are qualified to serve in the administration through its Presidential Appointments Project. (Kerry Eleveld, Advocate.com)

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