April 29, 2011 at 5:23 pm EDT | by Chris Johnson
Gay Hill staffer to serve as Pelosi scheduler

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Blade file photo by Michael Key)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has appointed a gay Hill staffer to serve in her D.C. office as scheduler.

Timothy Merritt, who was hired to become Pelosi’s deputy director of scheduling, is set to begin his duties Monday.

Merritt most recently worked for Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas) as the lawmaker’s communications director and scheduler. Additionally, Merritt handled small business legislative issues for Green.

In a statement, Pelosi welcomed Merritt to her staff and said his past work will make him an important contributor in her efforts to improve the economic conditions of the country.

“In each of his roles with Congressman Green’s office, Timothy brought incredible precision, commitment and intellect to his work,” Pelosi said. “Those qualities will quickly make Timothy an essential member of my team as we continue our efforts to create jobs, strengthen the middle class, and reduce the deficit in a responsible way.”

Merritt will join other gay staffers who work for Pelosi — Drew Hammill, her deputy communications director, and Kenneth DeGraff, her policy adviser for energy and technology issues — in her D.C. office. Another gay staffer, Dan Bernal, serves as district director for Pelosi’s San Francisco office.

Merritt, who holds a bachelor’s degree in international studies and development from the University of North Texas, is also active in the LGBT Congressional Staff Association.

Kat Skiles, spokesperson for the LGBT Congressional Staff Association, said Merritt’s new job in Pelosi’s office coincides with his transition from being the group’s membership director to its vice president.

“Whether contributing his talents as the communications director to a red state Democrat or fighting for equality as a board member on the LGBT Congressional Staff Association — Tim has proven that the best way to be anything is to be yourself,” Skiles said. “Poised, thoughtful and driven, Tim thrives in team oriented and collaborative efforts where his leadership invigorates team involvement and cooperation.”

Skiles added that without doubt, Merritt will be “an incredible asset” to Pelosi.

“In our longing for a world where no one feels the need to hide in the closet it is incredibly exciting to see someone who is out and proud soaring to such high heights,” she said.

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

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