President Joe Biden announced several nominations to posts in his administration late last week. One of whom is an out philanthropist who, together with his husband, has reportedly given more than $500 million to LGBTQ+ rights causes.
Scott Miller, 41, has been selected by Biden to serve as the ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein. He is just one of several out individuals that Biden has nominated to significant roles in the administration and federal government.
Miller, formerly an account vice president at UBS Wealth Management in Denver, is the co-chair of the Gill Foundation. The foundation was created by Miller’s husband, Tim Gill, the founder of Quark software.
Through the Gill Foundation, the couple has donated more than $500 million to LGBTQ+ causes, according to The Denver Post.
“If I’m fortunate enough to be confirmed, I hope to build on the work of my predecessors to strengthen the already solid relationship we have with the Swiss and Liechtensteiners, including our dynamic trade, investment, and defense partnerships,” Miller said in a statement.
Since 2010, Miller and Gill have also given at least $3.6 million to Democratic political candidates and causes, according to The Associated Press. Biden’s general election campaign saw $365,000 of their cash. In 2016, they spent $1.1 million in support of Hillary Clinton.
Previous presidents have often used ambassadorships, known as political appointees, as a way to repay allies and donors. About 44 percent of Donald Trump’s ambassadors were political appointees, while Barack Obama had 31 percent and George W. Bush had 32 percent, according to the AP. Biden has reportedly said he wanted to keep his number of political appointees down to about 30 percent.
Responding to Miller’s nomination to the Swiss ambassadorship, Annise Parker, president and CEO of the LGBTQ+ organization the Victory Institute, said Miller would make an excellent representative for the U.S.
“There is enormous power in LGBTQ people representing the United States abroad as ambassadors and Scott will ensure the advancement of equality is always on the diplomatic agenda,” Parker said in a statement. “Much of his career has been dedicated to furthering LGBTQ rights and ending discrimination against the most vulnerable in America and we are fortunate he will soon have a global platform to push for these human rights issues.”