...that the President has selected openly gay appointee David Huebner for the Ambassadorship to New Zealand. It is another step, granted a baby step, but at least a step. (Next stop, repeal DOMA and Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Just a thought).
Even so, he is still picking yet another political appointee. There are plenty of well qualified LGBT Foreign Service Officers of a rank to be named Ambassador. Despite his campaign promise to recognize that the foreign service is a profession and that the number of political appointee ambassadors should be reduced from the historic average of 30%, he is on track to exceed that number by a significant amount. And as we know, while some of the political appointees are well qualified, lots are qualified only by the amount of their campaign contributions (this is true of the appointees of all administrations).
I am sure there are some non-military folks who are qualified to be Admirals and Generals, but we don't make political appointments to those positions.
At any rate, here is the WH Press release:
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 7, 2009
President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts
WASHINGTON - Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key administration posts:
David Huebner, Ambassador to New Zealand and the Independent State of Samoa
David D. Nelson, Ambassador to the Oriental Republic of Uruguay
President Obama said, "I am confident that these individuals will represent our nation well in these important roles. I am grateful for their service and look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead."
President Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals today:
David Huebner, Nominee for Ambassador to New Zealand and the Independent State of Samoa David Huebner is the head of the China Practice and the International Disputes Practice at Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton, where he specializes in international arbitration and mediation. Currently based in Shanghai, he has significant experience handling disputes in the Pacific Rim region. Previously, he was a long-time partner and served as chairman at Coudert Brothers. While a resident in California, Mr. Huebner chaired the California Law Revision Commission, served as president of the Los Angeles Quality & Productivity Commission, and taught courses in international business and intellectual property at the University of Southern California's Gould School of Law. He has also guest lectured on international topics at several schools in the United States and abroad, and is licensed both as a solicitor in England & Wales and as an attorney in three U.S. jurisdictions. He has been active in non-profits, community organizations, and professional associations such as the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, International Chamber of Commerce Commission on Arbitration, Los Angeles Committee on Foreign Relations, and Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). A native of Pennsylvania, Mr. Huebner is a summa cum laude graduate of Princeton University, where he majored at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He is also a graduate of Yale Law School.
David D. Nelson, Nominee for Ambassador to the Oriental Republic of Uruguay David D. Nelson has served as Acting Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Economic, Enmic, Energy and Business Affairs (EEB) since January 2009 and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of EEB, with specific responsibility for International Finance and Development since June 2008. In those functions, Mr. Nelson has been responsible for providing the Secretary of State with advice on a full range of international economic issues. Mr. Nelson is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service. He has previously served as Executive Assistant to the Under Secretary for Economic, Energy and Agricultural Affairs, as Director of the Office of Terrorism Finance and Economic Sanctions, Director of the Iraq Reconstruction Task Force, and as Director of the Office of Monetary Affairs. He has also served on the National Security Council as Senior Coordinator for the Sea Island G-8 Summit, and has been posted abroad in Berlin, Madrid, Bonn, Quito, Montevideo and Merida. Mr. Nelson is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, and earned a Masters Degree in Economics at the University of Maryland.