Washington, DC — Today Dr. Rachel Levine will testify before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions about her experience and qualifications to be the next U.S. Assistant Secretary of Health. If moved forward by the committee and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Dr. Levine will become the first out trans appointee confirmed by the U.S Senate and the highest-ranking out trans person to ever serve in the federal government.
As Pennsylvania's Secretary of Health, Dr. Levine received national acclaim for leading the state's pandemic response and previously received bipartisan praise for her management of the state's opioid crisis. She was confirmed three times with overwhelming bipartisan support by the Pennsylvania state Senate. She also serves as president of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials and is a graduate of Harvard University and Tulane Medical School.
Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Institute, said the following about the confirmation hearing:
"Dr. Levine's management of Pennsylvania's pandemic response saved countless lives and became a model for the nation — and that experience and her incontestable qualifications demand her swift confirmation. Any senator who votes against Dr. Levine is motivated not by an honest review of her qualifications or concern for the nation's health, but instead by cynical partisan politics or outright bigotry. Dr. Levine will transform perceptions of trans Americans as Assistant Secretary, but more importantly, her leadership will help keep our nation on the path to recovery."
Victory Institute's Presidential Appointments Initiative, which includes a coalition of more than 30 LGBTQ and allied organizations, was outspoken in urging the Biden-Harris transition team to nominate Dr. Levine for a Senate-confirmed position because of her qualifications. Earlier this month, Victory Institute also joined more than 350 other organizations across the United States in calling for her confirmation. The full letter — written by leading LGBTQ health organizations, including the National LGBT Cancer Network, Fenway Health and the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center — is available online.
Ruben Gonzales, Executive Director of LGBTQ Victory Institute, said the following about LGBTQ inclusion in the new administration:
"Our government makes better decisions when it is representative of the people it serves, both in elected and appointed positions. Our Presidential Appointments Initiative is working to ensure qualified LGBTQ leaders like Dr. Levine are included in every agency and at every level of the new administration and that the appointments are as diverse as our community. Agencies must have leadership and staff employees with the lived experiences necessary to ensure policies are effective and inclusive and it is time for that leadership to include a trans person."
Victory Institute's Presidential Appointments Initiative will put forward hundreds of exemplary LGBTQ candidates for positions throughout the next administration and advocate for their consideration. It aims to help the Biden-Harris team create the most LGBTQ-inclusive administration in U.S. history.
About Victory Institute
LGBTQ Victory Institute works to achieve and sustain global equality through leadership development, training, and convening to increase the number, expand the diversity, and ensure the success of openly LGBTQ elected and appointed officials at all levels of government.