D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser on Thursday named veteran lesbian activist and media professional Sheila Alexander-Reid as director of the Mayor’s Office of GLBT Affairs.
Alexander-Reid becomes the third openly gay or lesbian cabinet-level official that Bowser has appointed so far to her administration, which began when the new mayor took office on Jan. 2.
As an activist involved in the local community for many years, Alexander-Reid is well known to the city’s LGBT community leaders and activists.
She most recently worked as Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at the Washington Blade. Prior to joining the Blade last year, Alexander-Reid worked as Director of Strategic Engagement for the Washington City Paper. Both positions involved marketing, advertising sales and community outreach duties.
Alexander-Reid is the founder and former executive director of Women in the Life Association, a social justice organization advocating for lesbians of color. She has also served as producer and host of Inside Out, the D.C. area’s only LGBT radio show, which has aired on WPFW FM. She served as vice president of the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, the city’s largest LGBT political group, from 2008 to 2011.
“We’re sorry to see her go,” said Blade publisher Lynne Brown, “but we know she’ll do terrific work for the city under Mayor Bowser and we wish her the best in this important new role.”
In December, Bowser named lesbian housing and services-for-the-homeless expert Polly Donaldson as director of the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development. Bowser named Matt Brown, who served as director of the D.C. Department of Transportation under Mayor Vincent Gray and who’s gay, as director of the Mayor’s Office of the Budget.
She has also named several other LGBT people to middle-level positions in her administration, prompting some familiar with the mayor’s office to say Bowser is expected to surpass Mayor Gray in making the most LGBT mayoral appointments of any D.C. mayor.