Biden set to introduce US State Department special envoy for LGBTQ+ rights

Washington DC – Biden is set to introduce Jessica Stern as the State Department's new special envoy to advance the rights of LGBTQ+ persons during a White House press conference on Friday afternoon.

Joe Biden will name Jessica Stern as the second-ever US special envoy for LGBTQ+ rights.
Joe Biden will name Jessica Stern as the second-ever US special envoy for LGBTQ+ rights.  © Collage: 123RF/Yuriy Kirsanov, IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

Stern is currently the executive director at OutRight Action International, an LGBTQ+ advocacy organization, and a Columbia University adjunct associate professor of international and public affairs, where much of her research centers on counterterrorism.

Stern previously served on President Bill Clinton's National Security Council and as Superterrorism Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

She will be only the second person to hold this position, The Hill reported. The first special envoy for LGBTQ+ rights was appointed during the Obama administration. Under Trump, the role remained unfilled.

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"At a time when the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons are increasingly threatened in all regions of the world, the Special Envoy will bring together like-minded governments, civil society organizations, corporations and international organizations to uphold dignity and equality for all," the White House commented.

Biden is expected to speak on his administration's broader approach to advancing LGBTQ+ rights. He will also sign the bill designating a National Pulse Memorial at the site of the 2016 deadly mass shooting at an Orlando gay nightclub.

The president will be joined during his remarks by Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, the first openly gay Cabinet member confirmed by the Senate in US history.

Cover photo: Collage: 123RF/Yuriy Kirsanov, IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

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