Chantale Wong becomes first LGBTQ plus person of color, out lesbian confirmed as ambassador

chantale wong
  • The Senate confirmed Chantale Wong as the director of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Tuesday.
  • With the new role, Wong became the first out LGBTQ plus person of color as well as the first out lesbian with the rank of ambassador in the U.S.
  • Wong was nominated in July by President Joe Biden, who described her as “a leading authority in international development policy with over 30 years of experience in the multi-disciplinary field.”
  • Prior to her confirmation, Wong served as U.S. representative to the Asian Development Bank, CFO at the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the budget director at NASA and acting budget director at the Treasury Department.
  • After she was confirmed to her new post, Wong wrote on Facebook, “It is with great pride and humility I will serve once again at the ADB and knowing the challenges ahead will be great. I am ready!”

Chantale Wong became the first out LGBTQ plus person of color and the first out lesbian to hold the rank of ambassador in the U.S. when she was confirmed as the director of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Tuesday.

The Senate confirmed Wong to the position by a vote of 66-31, several months after President Joe Biden nominated her for the post last July, reported the Advocate.

Wong, who holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, joined the Asian Development Bank (ADB) back in 1999 as an environmental specialist in Manila, according to her Conference on APA Leadership (CAPAL) profile

She was later appointed by President Bill Clinton to represent the U.S. at the ADB’s Board of Directors and by President Barack Obama to serve as Vice President for Administration and Finance and Chief Financial Officer at the Millennium Challenge Corporation. 

Wong also previously served as the budget director at NASA and acting budget director at the Treasury Department.

Biden described Wong in her nomination last year as “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.”

“She has been recognized throughout her career for transforming critical processes affecting the whole of government,” the statement said.

Wong expressed her readiness to take on the role, writing in a Facebook post: “22 years ago, Pres. Clinton appointed me to the Board of the ADB as the Alternate Executive Director. I was young and impressionable and had so much to learn. Tonight the US Senate confirmed me to return to the ADB as Pres. Biden’s appointee. It is with great pride and humility I will serve once again at the ADB and knowing the challenges ahead will be great. I am ready!”

Wong’s nomination and eventual confirmation have long been advocated by the LGBTQ Victory Institute, which issued a statement congratulating ADB’s new director.

“As the first out LGBTQ person of color confirmed to an ambassador-level position, Ambassador Wong is also a symbol of hope and strength for LGBTQ leaders and community members fighting for LGBTQ rights across the globe,” Victory Institute President and CEO Annise Parker said. “ Millions of people still live in countries that criminalize LGBTQ people and deny them the right to marry, including many members states of the Asian Development Bank. Her appointment is a powerful statement to those nations.”

Featured Image via Outreach TV Network

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