President Barack Obama has appointed more openly gay staffers than the administrations of George W. Bush and Bill Clinton combined.

Shin Inouye, a White House spokesman, noted the landmark during a panel discussion on LGBT presidential appointees at the National Press Club sponsored by the National Gay & Lesbian Journalist Association and gay weekly the Washington Blade.

The panel also included Elaine Kaplan, general counsel at the Office of Personnel Management, and Matt Nosanchuk, senior counselor to the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights.

Kaplan, who also served in the Clinton administration, said LGBT appointments were present in greater numbers and at higher levels than previous administrations. Policy decisions are more gay-inclusive as a result, the panelists said.

The Presidential Appointments Project, a community driven effort coordinated by the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, was responsible for bringing many of the appointees to the attention of administration officials.

“This has always been the point of the project – to make sure LGBT voices and their perspectives are heard at the highest levels of the U.S. government,” George Walker, a vice president at the Gay & Lesbian Leadership Institute, said.