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Presidential appointee, transgender aide starts Tuesday

Monday, January 4, 2010 - 4:21pm

WASHINGTON - One of the executive branch's first transgender appointees will start working in the Commerce Department on Tuesday.

Amanda Simpson will serve as a senior technical adviser in the Bureau of Industry and Security, Commerce spokeswoman Shannon Gilson confirmed. The White House had no comment.

“I'm truly honored to have received this appointment and am eager and excited about this opportunity that is before me,” Simpson said in a statement. “And at the same time, as one of the first transgender presidential appointees to the federal government, I hope that I will soon be one of hundreds and that this appointment opens future opportunities for many others."

Simpson, a certified flight instructor and test pilot, holds degrees in physics, engineering and business administration. While employed at Raytheon, she transitioned from male to female and led efforts to change the company’s equal employment opportunity policy to include gender identity and expression.

Currently she serves on the national boards of Out & Equal and the National Center for Transgender Equality.

She was a delegate for Hillary Clinton at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. In 2004, Simpson won the Democratic nomination to run for the Arizona House of Representatives but ultimately lost