May 24, 2010 at 3:05 pm EDT | by Staff reports
Iraq veteran to lead Log Cabin Republicans

Log Cabin Republicans has chosen a former diplomat and veteran to serve as the organization’s new executive director.

R. Clarke Cooper, who worked in the George W. Bush administration most recently as counselor and chief of staff at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, was announced Monday as the man Log Cabin’s board of directors selected to lead the partisan group.

Cooper said he will emphasize “the principles of limited government, individual liberty, individual responsibility, free markets and a strong national defense” as he pursues “equal treatment under the law for gay and lesbian Americans.”

Log Cabin Board Chairman Terry Hamilton said Cooper’s “16 years of public policy and political experience has uniquely prepared him to lead Log Cabin” and would help “ensure our role as a key player in strengthening an inclusive Republican Party.”

“As Congress is debating the failed ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy, we could not have a better advocate in ensuring that this policy gets overturned,” Hamilton said.

Cooper served in Iraq in 2004 as an Army reserve officer on active duty, earning the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Joint Meritorious Unit Award and other decorations. He later worked as legislative affairs advisor for the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and senior legislative advisor for a division within the Office of Iraq Affairs.

U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), ranking member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and an LGBT Equality Caucus member, welcomed Cooper’s appointment.

“I have known Clarke his entire career from when he served on my legislative staff and am thrilled to see him lead Log Cabin,” she said in a statement. “I look forward to working with him to further advocate and secure equal rights for all Americans.”

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