Thursday, October 8, 2009
President Obama to appoint openly gay U.S. ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa
WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, today issued a statement on reports that David Huebner has been selected as the U.S. ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa. Huebner, who is the head of the China Practice and the International Disputes Practice of Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP, is also a founding board member and former board co-chair for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).
"The selection of David Huebner as Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa is not only good for the LGBT community, it is good for America,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “The appointment of openly gay and lesbian Americans, by this Administration, continues show their dedication to diversity and making decisions not based on someone’s sexual orientation, but based on their qualifications. We congratulate David on his appointment and look forward to his service to our country.”
“As the American people have learned from my experience, sexual orientation has nothing to do with ones ability to represent our country abroad in the foreign service,” said Jim Hormel, the first openly gay U.S. Ambassador appointed to Luxembourg by President Bill Clinton and a founder of the Human Rights Campaign. “I am pleased that President Obama has chosen David Huebner who will serve as an excellent ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa.”
Huebner, who is openly gay, is former Chairman of Coudert Brothers LLP. A native of Pennsylvania, 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.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.