recommended reading

Cybersecurity Appointee Makes History


By Gautham Nagesh January 6, 2010

recent posts

Since his campaign President Obama has repeatedly emphasized how he wants to attract a more diverse group of Americans into public service. Yesterday he advanced that goal by appointing Amanda Simpson to be senior technical advisor to the Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security. Amanda Simpson, formerly a test pilot known as Mitchell Simpson, is the first openly-transgendered presidential appointee in history.

From the New York Daily News:

"As one of the first transgender presidential appointees to the federal government, I hope that I will soon be one of hundreds," Simpson said in a statement.

Simpson, 49, underwent a sex change about a decade ago while working in Tuscon for Raytheon Missile Systems, where she rose to the job of deputy director.

President Obama named Simpson to the Commerce post.

It is not certain whether she is the first transgendered presidential appointee, but she appears to be the most prominent.

In 2004, Simpson became the first openly transgendered candidate to win a primary election in the U.S. in a bid for the Arizona state legislature.

A Democrat, she lost in the general election.

Simpson however, is not so keen to be the trend-setter in this area:

"Being the first sucks," she told ABC "I'd rather not be the first but someone has to be first, or among the first. I think I'm experienced and very well qualified to deal with anything that might show up because I've broken barriers at lots of other places and I always win people over with who I am and what I can do."

While it certainly can't be easy to take on a high-pressure job with these types of distractions, it does seem like Simpson is well-suited for the role. Just by accepting the position and discussing her sexual identity with the media, Simpson is providing hope to countless transgendered people across the nation who may also aspire to serve their country at some point in the future. That's a noble goal for any American, regardless of gender, race, religion or sexual orientation.


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.