Amanda Simpson: Transgender Appointee to Commerce Department
President Obama recently appointed the first transgendered woman to a federal government position. Amanda Simpson, has been appointed to the Department of Commerce as a senior technical adviser. An aerospace and defense veteran, Simpson sits on the board of the National Center for Transgender Equality.
Simpson, who is transgender, will be working in the Bureau of Industry and Security.
"I'm truly honored to have received this appointment and am eager and excited about this opportunity that is before me," she said in a press release by the National Center for Transgender Equality, an organization for which she has served on the board of directors. "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 brings considerable professional credentials to her new job. For thirty years, she has worked in the aerospace and defense industry, most recently serving as Deputy Director in Advanced Technology Development at Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, Arizona. She holds degrees in physics, engineering and business administration along with an extensive flight background. She is a certified flight instructor and test pilot with 20 years of experience.
She has also been very active in political and community groups. She has served on the Board of Directors of two national organizations: Out & Equal and NCTE. In Arizona, she has been on the board of Wingspan, the Southern Arizona Gender Alliance, the Southern Arizona ACLU and the Arizona Human Rights Fund (now Equality Arizona).
In 2004, the YWCA recognized her as one of their "Women on the Move," and in the same year, she won the Democratic nomination to the Arizona House of Representatives. In 2005, she was given the Arizona Human Rights Foundation Individual Award.