November 10, 2014 at 4:55 pm EDT | by Chris Johnson
New White House LGBT liaison named
Aditi Hardikar, gay news, Washington Blade

Aditi Hardikar (Photo courtesy of the White House)

A new White House liaison to the LGBT community started in her role on Monday, the Washington Blade has learned.

A White House official said Aditi Hardikar started on the same day as the new associate director of public engagement in the White House Office of Public Engagement. In that role, she’s the White House’s primary liaison to the LGBT community as well as the Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.

According to the White House, she has served most recently as director of the LGBT Leadership Council at the Democratic National Committee, where she raised money and mobilized community leaders around Democratic issues.

Other roles for Hardikar include working as LGBT finance director for the Presidential Inaugural Committee in 2013 and as deputy director of LGBT Voter Outreach and LGBT Finance for the 2012 Obama-Biden President Campaign.

According to the White House, Hardikar also planned events and organized progressive young Americans for the Campus Progress team at the Center for American Progress.

Hardikar received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where she earned her B.A. in Economics and Political Science.

Prior to Hardikar becoming White House LGBT liaison, the position was occupied by Gautam Raghavan, who has since left the administration to become vice president of policy at the Gill Foundation.

Upon news of the announcement, Raghavan praised the White House official who’ll follow in his footsteps at the White House.

“Aditi has served President Obama for many years — including on his 2012 campaign and at the DNC — with distinction, integrity, and grace,” Raghavan said. “She will bring fresh energy and perspective to the position and its portfolio. I also think it’s worth noting that she will be the first woman of color to serve as the White House LGBT Liaison — reflecting the talent and diversity of the LGBT movement as well as this president’s administration.”

Stephen Peters, spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign, said his organization is eager to work with Hardikar.

“Aditi Hardikar has already been a tremendous advocate for our community in her work with the Democratic National Committee,” Peters said. “We are thrilled she will be joining the White House team and look forward to working with her on important issues in our ongoing fight for full equality.”

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

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