On Feb. 8, the U.S. Senate confirmed Chantale Wong as United States director to the Asian Development Banka post with the rank of ambassador, according to an LGBTQ Victory Institute press release.
Wongwho's also a freelance photographer and videographeris the first out lesbian and first out LGBTQ person of color in U.S. history to be appointed to an ambassador-level position. Wong was formerly CFO of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, budget director at NASA and acting budget director of the U.S. Treasury Department. She was also a U.S. representative to the Asian Development Bank.
On her Facebook page, Wong wrote, "22 years ago, Pres. Clinton appointed me to the Board of the ADB as the Alternate Executive Director. I was young and impressionable and had so much to learn. Tonight the US Senate confirmed me to return to the ADB as Pres. Biden's appointee. It is with great pride and humility I will serve once again at the ADB and knowing the challenges ahead will be great. I am ready!"
Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Institute, said, "Ambassador Wong is now one of the highest-ranking leaders of U.S. economic and international policy in Asia and is well-positioned to leverage her exceptional qualifications and experience. As the first out LGBTQ person of color confirmed to an ambassador-level position, Ambassador Wong is also a symbol of hope and strength for LGBTQ leaders and community members fighting for LGBTQ rights across the globe. Millions of people still live in countries that criminalize LGBTQ people and deny them the right to marry, including many members states of the Asian Development Bank. Her appointment is a powerful statement to those nations."
In a separate statement, Equality California National Policy Director Valerie Ploumpis said, "Chantale Wong's historic confirmation today is a momentous occasion for the LGBTQ+ community and for our country. It is also a testament to the Biden-Harris Administration's commitment to increasing representation of diverse LGBTQ+ voices in our federal government. She joins over 200 out LGBTQ+ appointees serving in the most diverse Administration in history, and we are confident that she will serve with distinction, honesty and integrity. Her qualifications, experience and unique voice will highlight the importance of accepting and including LGBTQ+ people in halls of power here in the United States and around the world."
Human Rights Interim President Joni Madison also weighed in, saying, "Congratulations to Ambassador Chantale Wong on her historic confirmation. For too long, the ranks of ambassadors have failed to reflect the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community. Ambassador Wong's confirmation is one step closer to achieving a future where all members of the LGBTQ+ community can see themselves reflected at the highest levels of government.
Last year, President Joe Biden nominated Wong.