Raul Alvillar, who has worked in the White House for Vice President Joseph Biden, was named to the position by DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
In a statement, Wasserman Schultz said Alvillar brings to the DNC more than a decade of experience on campaigns — both in the private sector and in government.
“His work on everything from legislative outreach to campaigns and LGBT advocacy will be an asset to Democrats at every level,” Wasserman Schultz said. “Together, with the rest of the team at the DNC, we’ll be able to support the President’s legislative agenda and elect Democrats up and down the ballot in 2014 and beyond.”
News of the appointment was made shortly after the DNC winter meeting over the weekend in which Wasserman Schultz announced plans for a lesbian leadership council to boost the leadership role of lesbians within the party.
Alvillar said in the same statement reaching out to state parties and DNC members would be a priority for him during his tenure.
“I am excited to join the DNC and get to work electing and reelecting Democrats across the country,” Alvillar said. “I look forward to working with our state parties and DNC members to make certain we are providing them the tools they need to ensure that the Democratic Party thrives at all levels.”
Among the roles that Alvillar held before his appointment to DNC is serving as interim LGBT liaison at the White House in 2011 after former liaison Brian Bond departed, but before present-day liaison Gautam Raghavan came on board.
Alvillar also served as a senior adviser to Secretary of Housing & Urban Development Shaun Donovan and associate director at the Office of Public Engagement for the White House Office of the Vice President. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Alvillar was western political director for Obama and assisted with LGBT outreach and LGBT super delegates at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
According to a bio provided by the DNC, Alvillar was deputy national political director for John Kerry’s Keeping America’s Promise PAC and political director and regional field director for Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign.
Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.), chair of the House Democratic Caucus, heaped praise upon Alvillar following news of his appointment.
“Raul is a strong ally for Democrats everywhere and I’m proud to call him a friend,” Becerra said. “At a time when the stakes could not be higher for working families in America, I am confident that Raul brings the experience and dedication to promote the President’s agenda and propel Democrats to victory in November.”
Alvillar joins the DNC at a challenging time for the Democratic Party as support for President Obama remains in the 40-percentile range among Americans and political observers say Democrats may lose control of the Senate in the mid-term elections.
Steve Elmendorf, who’s gay and a Democratic lobbyist, called Alvillar “a real star in the Democratic world.”
“He worked for me during the Kerry for President Campaign and showed great skill and political judgment,” Elmendorf said. “The DNC is lucky to have him.”
Michael Cole-Schwartz, spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign, also had good things to say about the DNC’s latest appointment.
“Raul brings a wealth of experience and a deep commitment to improving the lives of Americans,” Cole-Schwartz said. “We’re thrilled he’ll be putting his enormous talents to use at the DNC.”