Chantale Wong becomes first LGBTQ person of color nominated for director of Asian Development Bank

Chantale Wong

President Joe Biden has nominated several people for key roles, including Chantale Wong as the U.S. Director of the Asian Development Bank, with the rank of Ambassador.

The nomination: Wong has over 30 years of experience in a multi-disciplinary field, including finance, technology and the environment, according to the White House announcement on Friday. She is also a leading authority in international development policy.

  • Wong has a master’s in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a master’s in environmental engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. She also has an undergraduate degree in civil and structural engineering from the University of Hawaii.
  • She is known for establishing the Conference on APA Leadership within the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. For 32 years, Wong helped guide young AAPIs to seek careers in public service.
  • Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero from Guam said Wong’s “nomination and federal service show our young girls that they too can lead successful careers in the federal government and in male-dominated fields, such as finance and technology,” Guam Pacific Daily News reported.

The first: If appointed, Wong would become the first lesbian and the first out LGBTQ person of color in history to serve as a director, which is the same level as an ambassadorship position in the State Department, LGBT Nation reported.

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  • “Chantale will represent the most powerful nation in the Asian Development Bank at a time when many of its member states criminalize LGBTQ people and deny them the right to marry,” Annise Parker, president and CEO of the Victory Institute, said in a statement. “Chantale will be a powerful symbol of the Biden administration’s commitment to equality and member states will be forced to notice and respect it.”

Past work: Wong “held senior career appointments in the Office of Management and Budget, Treasury, NASA, and the Environmental Protection Agency.”

  • She was appointed by President Bill Clinton to the Board of Directors at the Asian Development Bank, representing the U.S. as the Alternate Executive Director, where she oversees policies and operations.
  • President Barack Obama appointed Wong as the Vice President for Administration and Finance and Chief Financial Officer at the Millennium Challenge Corporation.
  • Wong chronicled the annual Congressional Civil Rights pilgrimages in Alabama with the late Congressman John Lewis.

Featured Image via @chantale.wong

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