January 15, 2021 at 3:54 pm EST | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Bowser cabinet official named to Biden staff
Jeff Marootian, gay news, Washington Blade
Jeff Marootian, one of D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s gay cabinet members, is joining the White House staff. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team announced on Thursday that Biden has named Jeff Marootian, one of D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s openly gay cabinet members, as Special Assistant to the President for Climate and Science Agency Personnel.

Marootian, who currently serves as director of the D.C. Department of Transportation, was one of 14 appointees to the White House staff announced by the presidential transition team on Thursday who will advise the president on issues ranging from climate change, environmental quality, healthcare, veterans’ affairs, immigration, and racial justice among other issues.

“Delivering results to Americans grappling with the many challenges facing our country will require an experienced, innovative, and principled White House team,” Biden said in a statement. “The policy leaders announced today are accomplished public servants who are ready to build back better for this country immediately,” Biden said.

In a separate statement Vice President-elect Kamala Harris called the latest round of White House appointees “innovative thinkers and principled leaders,” and added, “I look forward to working with them to ensure that every American has a fair shot a pursuing their dreams.”

Marootian, a longtime advocate for LGBTQ equality, has served as director of the D.C. Department of Transportation since 2017. Since shortly after the November 2020 presidential election, he has served on the U.S. Department of Transportation Agency Review Team for the Biden presidential transition. 

Prior to joining Bowser’s cabinet post in 2017, Marootian served in the administration of President Barack Obama as White House Liaison and later as Assistant Secretary for Administration at the U.S. Department of Transportation.

During the 2012 Obama-Biden re-election campaign Marootian served as Director of LGBTQ Outreach at the Democratic National Committee.

The announcement of his appointment says he would be working at the White House Presidential Personnel Office. A spokesperson for the Biden transition team could not immediately be reached to determine whether the Personnel Office is in the White House itself, the Old Executive Office Building, which is part of the White House complex, or at another location.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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