First Openly Gay Man Chosen as the New White House Social Secretary

Feb 25, 2011 1:32pm

ABC News' Sunlen Miller Reports: 

In a job typically filled by a woman, the White House has chosen the first-ever man to be the next White House Social Secretary.

Jeremy Bernard, who is openly gay, will be named Special Assistant to the President and Social Secretary.

“Jeremy shares our vision for the White House as the People’s House, one that celebrates our history and culture in dynamic and inclusive ways,” President Obama said in a statement, “We look forward to Jeremy continuing to showcase America’s arts and culture to our nation and the world through the many events at the White House.”

Bernard comes to the White House from the US Embassy in Paris, where he served as Senior Advisor to the Ambassador.  Prior to this role, he worked as the White House Liaison to the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The job of social secretary is a unique one, in charge of planning official White House social events. The White House Social Office, located in the East Wing, works closely with the First Lady to coordinate the events – choosing themes, menus, guest list, décor and overall character of White House events.  The high-profile State Dinners, taking months of planning, are often the highlight of the Social Secretary’s work on display.

“I look forward to working with Jeremy to continue the great work of the Social Office, from fun and educational student workshops to elegant State Dinners that welcome world leaders to the White House,” Tina Tchen, Chief of Staff to First Lady Michelle Obama said in a statement,  “Jeremy’s creativity, perspective and skills will be a welcome addition to our East Wing team, as we showcase the White House and celebrating America’s arts and culture.”

This marks Mrs. Obama’s third social secretary of the Obama administration, following the departure of Desiree Rogers and  Julianna Smoot

-Sunlen Miller

 

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