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Obama appoints trans woman to Department of Commerce

Amanda Simpson has been appointed to the Department of Commerce as a senior technical advisor, working in the Bureau of Industry and Security. Simpson is the first transgendered woman appointed to a federal government position.

“I’m truly honored to have received this appointment and am eager and excited about this opportunity that is before me,” said Simpson. “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. Simpson is also a certified flight instructor and test pilot with 20 years of experience.

Simpson has served on the Board of Directors of two national organizations: Out & Equal and National Center for Transgender Equality. 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.