Politico.com is reporting that
President-elect Barack Obama intends to pick openly gay Fred Hochberg
to head the Export-Import Bank.
Hochberg was the subject of a campaign
by Equal Rep to name him Secretary of Commerce after New Mexico
Governor Bill Richardson withdrew himself from consideration.
The gay rights group is also backing
William White to the position of Secretary of the Navy.
Hochberg is the Dean of the Milano New
School for Management and Urban Policy in New York City and was a
leading fund-raiser for Senator Hillary Clinton's bid for the White
House. He also served as the deputy administrator of the Small
Business Administration under Bill Clinton.
According to ABC News, the
Export-Import Bank of the United States is “the official export
credit agency of the federal government ... [It finances] sales of
goods exported from the US to international buyers.”
Gay rights groups expressed enthusiasm
for the choice. Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights
Campaign, the nation's largest gay and lesbian rights advocate, said
in a statement: “The chair of the Export-Import Bank of the United
States is an important position in President-elect Obama's economic
team. Fred is one of the most highly qualified and experienced
public servants in our community and the fact that President-elect
Obama has tapped him for such an important economic position speaks
well for the LGBT community.”
The appointment would make Hochberg the
first openly gay director of the bank and the highest ranking gay man
in the Obama adminstration.