The United States appointed its first special envoy for international LGBT rights on Monday.
Randy Berry, currently the consul general of the Netherlands, will be tasked with promoting the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals at home and abroad, as well as combatting violence and discrimination against LGBT people around the world, according to the Boston Globe.
Berry is a veteran diplomat, having served in various capacities at posts in Nepal, New Zealand, Bangladesh, and Egypt, according to a State Department press release.
“We looked far and wide to find the right American official for this important assignment,” Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement. “Randy’s a leader. He’s a motivator. But most importantly for this effort, he’s got vision.”
“Defending and promoting the human rights of LGBT persons is at the core of our commitment to advancing human rights globally – the heart and conscience of our diplomacy,” Kerry continued.
Breitbart California editor Joel Pollak became acquainted with Berry when both were working in South Africa. “Randy is a conscientious and diligent public servant, who always went the extra mile to ensure the United States was well represented and well informed,” he said.
According to the Globe, the appointment comes as the Obama administration seeks to include LGBT rights in its list of international human rights efforts.
On Sunday, new Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said at at town hall meeting in Kandahar, Afghanistan that transgender people should not be precluded from military service because of their sexual orientation. White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters on Monday that President Obama “agrees with the sentiment that all Americans who are qualified to serve should be able to serve.”
Earlier this month, the Obama administration’s 2015 National Security Strategy (NSS) made history by being the first to include the promotion of human rights protections for LGBT individuals.