Profile of Obama’s first openly gay appointee

by on December 14, 2008  •  In Uncategorized

President-elect Obama's first openly lgbt appointee is likely to be Nancy Sutley, widely reported as his choice to chair the White House Council on Environmental Quality. According to Firedoglake, Sutley was a member of Senator Clinton's lgbt steering committee during the primaries. Other critical info from the NY Times: she's a native New Yorker with an undergraduate degree from Cornell, a master's in public policy from the Kennedy School at Harvard, and is a Mets fan.  43859021

The LA Times has this longer profile by David Zahniser:

The behind-the-scenes bureaucrat who has been carrying out Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's environmental agenda is poised to take her work nationwide as the presumptive chair of President-elect Barack Obama's White House Council on Environmental Quality.

Nancy Sutley, the deputy mayor for energy and the environment, has played a role in the mayor's two main clean-air initiatives — moving the Department of Water and Power to wind and solar energy and replacing 16,000 diesel trucks at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Since sources began naming her as an incoming member of Obama's "green team," environmentalists across the country have cheered at the prospect that Sutley will pursue similar efforts with other cities, harbors and electrical utilities.

"She's not one of those people who gets out in front or wants the big public thing, the big ego reward. She just gets stuff done," said David Pettit, senior attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council. "She is really hardworking and relentless in doing what she thinks is the right thing."

Sutley, 46, is one of the quietest members of the mayor's leadership team, working almost entirely out of public view on Villaraigosa's campaign to make Los Angeles the "greenest big city in America."

Those initiatives have frequently pushed the envelope of environmental policy, drawing criticism from some business groups and generating debate even among the activists with whom she is aligned.

A solar energy plan heading to voters with Villaraigosa's blessing had a messy journey to the March 3 ballot, drawing fire from the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, which argued that it is too heavily weighted toward the union that represents DWP workers.

Sutley also supervised the Million Trees program, which ran into difficulties last year after urban tree advocates complained that it relied too much on tree giveaways — particularly the distribution of seedlings that have a high mortality rate.  Since then, Villaraigosa's team has said it has moved to address those problems.

The port clean-air plan unfolded more seamlessly, with the mayor's appointees on the Board of Harbor Commissioners unanimously finding $800 million to help subsidize cleaner-burning trucks.  By 2012, every truck that operates in the two harbors must have been built no earlier than 2007.

"The city's approach has changed fundamentally since she got there," said V. John White, director of the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies, an advocacy group. "Instead of the port being the advocate for truckers and shippers, it was an advocate for clean air to the point of being sued." * * *

Sutley was raised in Queens, N.Y., and is the daughter of immigrants from Argentina. * * *  A resident of Angelino Heights, Sutley is one of several openly gay, high-level officials who advise the mayor. * * *

Sutley served in high-level posts in the EPA during the Clinton administration and in the state EPA as an advisor to former Gov. Gray Davis. Her work in those jobs impressed her peers.  "She immediately emerges as the smartest person in the room who asks the hardest questions and comes up with the best solutions," said Vickie Patton, deputy general counsel for the Environmental Defense Fund, who worked with Sutley in the Clinton administration.

At the state's EPA, Sutley helped to draft a statewide policy on environmental justice, an effort to shield low-income communities from an over concentration of high-polluting projects.


One Response to Profile of Obama’s first openly gay appointee

  1. queerunity December 15, 2008 at 11:13 AM

    i just dont see how this position of power will advance lgbt issues
    link to

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