Statement by NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell

(San Francisco, CA, January 26, 2011)—Today, President Barack Obama announced his intention to appoint Roberta Achtenberg, former Executive Director of National Center for Lesbian Rights from 1983-1990, to a key post in his Administration as a Commissioner on the United States Commission on Civil Rights. She will be the first out lesbian to hold such a position.

Achtenberg is a corporate advisor in economic and workforce development policy, with more than 30 years of senior-level leadership experience in business, government, and law. During President Bill Clinton’s Administration, she served as Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and later as Senior Advisor to the Secretary of HUD. She is currently a member and past Chair of the California State University Board of Trustees, and serves as Vice Chair of the Board of the Bank of San Francisco. She previously was a member of the Board of Supervisors for the City and County of San Francisco.

Before becoming a public official, she spent 15 years as a civil rights attorney, nonprofit director, and legal educator.

Statement by NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell:

“The appointment of Roberta Achtenberg to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is history making. Roberta will be the first openly lesbian or gay person appointed to the Commission. More importantly, her appointment assures that a woman of remarkable intelligence, broad commitment to justice and equality, and a life-long legacy of public service will be there to give voice and representation to those who are denied opportunity, fairness, and equality under the law.”

The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.