The Obama administration made history today, appointing the first man and openly gay man as White House Social Secretary. The administration announced today that the job will be filled by Jeremy Bernard who currently serves as the chief of staff to the U.S. ambassador to France.
Bernard is the third person to hold the Social Secretary post since Obama took office in 2008. The first appointment, though, remains the most notorious of them all. Desiree Rogers, first to hold the post and first African-American to ever do so, resigned last year after a state dinner and some party crashers caused her the job. Her replacement, Julianna Smoot stepped down this month to begin preparing for the President’s reelection campaign.
Historically, the social secretary position has been a behind the scenes gig, with the current secretary rarely mentioned. Rogers has took her fair share of criticism for being more public facing than her predecessors, a habit it Bernard, seems likely to share. Bernard is described by his friend and Washington Post columnist Peter Capehart as likely to “bring a certain warmth and irreverence to the job.”
The appointment comes after a week, when the Obama Administration made a public shift in its approach to the Defense of Marriage Act . The act has been upheld as the precedent in legal decisions upholding the ban on gay marriages.