Chantale Wong is the first out lesbian ambassador to be confirmed by the Senate

Chantale Wong is being appointed to an ambassadorship as U.S. Director of the Asian Development Bank

Chantale Wong has been confirmed by the Senate as the U.S. director of the Asian Development Bank, making her the first out lesbian ambassador to be confirmed by the Senate as well as the first out LGBTQ person of color to ever hold an ambassador-level position.

President Biden nominated Wong to the position in July 2021.

Related: House passes bill seeking to further protect LGBTQ rights around the world 

With the announcement of her appointment, the White House stated that Wong is “a leading authority in international development policy with over 30 years of experience in the multi-disciplinary field that includes finance, technology, and the environment.”

Wong has served within both the Clinton and Obama administrations and in government for at least 25 years.

She was previously appointed as the chief financial officer for the foreign aid agency Millennium Challenge Corporation, the Budget Director at NASA, and the Acting Budget Director of the US Treasury Department.

She was also previously a U.S. representative to the Asian Development Bank, a financial institution that works on the government level with over 60 member countries to provide fiscal services.

As an observing member of the United Nations, the director post is the same level as an ambassadorship position within the State Department.

In a statement, Human Rights Campaign (HRC) interim President Joni Madison congratulated Wong on her historic appointment.

“For too long, the ranks of ambassadors have failed to reflect the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community,” Madison said. “Ambassador Wong’s confirmation is one step closer to achieving a future where all members of the LGBTQ+ community can see themselves reflected at the highest levels of government.”

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