Fred Hochberg, dean of the Milano the New School for Management and Urban Policy, is reportedly getting an appointment with the Obama administration as the head of the Export-Import Bank.
Hochberg, who is openly gay, worked as a deputy in the Small Business Administration under Bill Clinton.
The possible appointment is getting praise from the LGBT community. The Human Rights Coalition sent out a statement saying Hochberg’s appointment “speaks well for the LGBT community.” Influential Democratic consultant and gay activist Ethan Geto told me, “Fred Hochberg has the credentials and is qualified for that position.”
Geto stressed that Hochberg’s business acumen more than qualified for the position, but said he also benefited by a national push by the LGBT community for more appointments for openly gay people in the administration. When Bill Richardson announced he was declining the job as Commerce Secretary, activist from across the country pushed for it to go to Hochberg.
Hochberg’s appointment also comes as the Obama administration may want to mollify anger from the LGBT community following news that the invocation at Obama’s inauguration would be delivered by Rick Warren, who strongly opposes same-sex marriage. “I am surprised how awful at Rick Warren is on LGBT issues,” Geto said. “This I think will probably be received by the community as a meaningful appointment.”
Geto noted that several other openly gay people have been appointed to jobs in the administration. Also, Geto said a lesbian couple will be among the guests Obama will host during inaugural festivities and featured prominently as representatives of the American public.