Amanda Simpson, the trans woman appointed by President Barack Obama, has said she does not want to be seen as a “token”.
She was appointed to the role of senior technical advisor to the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security and has worked in the aerospace and defence industry for 30 years.
In an interview with ABCNews.com, she said she would rather not be the first trans presidential appointee, but added she intended to do a “far superior” job than anyone else.
She said: “Being the first sucks. I’d rather not be the first but someone has to be first, or among the first.
“I think I’m experienced and very well qualified to deal with anything that might show up because I’ve broken barriers at lots of other places and I always win people over with who I am and what I can do.”
Simpson added: “[There will be] questions like: Is this a token? Are you here to do a job or just to fill a quota or appease other people? In that regard it makes it a bit more difficult,” she said.
“I’m sure I will have to do and intend to do a far superior job than any other person. But I’m sure I will always be second guessed.”
Obama has come under fire from LGBT campaigners for being slow to act on election promises on issues such as the Defence of Marriage Act and the military gay ban.
Some conservative groups attacked the appointment as a token gesture to the “far-left”.
Christian group Focus on the Family said in a statement: “Simpson’s nomination was forwarded through to President Obama by a gay activist group, making it appear that this appointment of a male-to-female ‘transgender’ activist to a high level Commerce Department position to be payback to his far-left base for their political support.”
Simpson is on the board of directors of the National Centre for Transgender Equality. She holds degrees in physics, engineering and business administration along with an extensive flight background.