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Joe Biden appoints gay staffer to high profile White House role

Nick Duffy
·2-min read

A gay staffer has been appointed to a powerful role by president-elect Joe Biden.

The incoming leader, who this week received the official go-ahead for his transition to power, has been hard at work setting up the team of top officials who will fill his White House.

As he makes a number of cabinet posts and high-profile appointments, Biden has tapped a prominent gay staffer for an important role.

Gay staffer Carlos Elizondo tapped for top White House role

Carlos Elizondo has been named the social secretary for the incoming White House, after previously filling a similar role for Biden for all eight years of his vice presidency under Barack Obama.

The role places him in charge of planning, coordination and execution of official social events at the White House.

Biden said in a statement dated Friday (20 November): “I’m proud to name additional members of our team who will help deliver the change America needs in these difficult times. Their dedication to overcoming the challenges facing our country today are rooted in their diverse backgrounds and experiences. They will serve the American people and help build back better, creating a more just, equitable, and united nation.”

Incoming White House chief of staff Ron Klain added: “To bring president-elect Biden and vice president-elect Harris’ agenda to life you must have a boundless team of experts ready for day one.

“Today’s appointees are respected leaders who will bring a commitment to serving the American people each and every day. They will support our work to build an administration and White House that represents America and delivers results.”

Joe Biden's incoming White House social secretary Carlos Elizondo
Joe Biden’s incoming White House social secretary Carlos Elizondo

Elizondo, who has previously worked in events at Georgetown University and Walt Disney World, currently lives with his partner in Washington DC.

Joe Biden administration could have a number of high-ranking LGBT+ staffers

The staffer is likely to be far from the only out figure in a senior White House role. Karine Jean-Pierre, currently chief of staff to vice president-elect Kamala Harris, could become the first out lesbian and first Black woman to be named White House press secretary.

Dr Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania’s secretary of health and one of the most senior trans officials in the US, has also been touted as an outside chance at a healthcare role.

Meanwhile, former presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg is said to be in the running for a potential cabinet appointment, though several of the higher-ranking roles he was initially touted for, such as ambassador to the United Nations, have since been filled with picks prioritising policy experience.

The Afghanistan veteran is still touted for the role of secretary of veterans affairs, which would make him the first full-time LGBT+ cabinet member in US history.