During his final weeks in office, President Barack Obama has been busy filling job openings in his Administration -- moves which will carry over into the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump.
So far, 72 people have been appointed, and another 17 have been nominated and are awaiting Senate confirmation, reports Mark Knoller of CBS.
The latest appointments and nominations were announced by the White House on Jan. 16.
Those requiring Senate confirmation are Todd Phillip Haskell, nominated for Ambassador to the Republic of the Congo, and Jason E. Kearns, nominated for Member, U.S. International Trade Commission.
A total of 19 appointments were made for vacancies at the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations, Board for International Food and Agricultural Development, Board of Visitors to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad, Board of Trustees of the Institute of American Indian and Alaska Native Cultural and Arts Development, National Infrastructure Advisory Council, National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service, and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council.
One of the appointees to the Holocaust Memorial Council is Raffi Freedman-Gurspan, who first gained notoriety as "the first appointee in the Obama White House who is openly transgender," notes The White House, where she served as Senior Associate Director for Public Engagement and the White House’s primary liaison to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.
She is concerned that President-elect Trump may do away with the position altogether, reports the website New Now Next. "If we don’t have a particular individual here in this building who has an immense amount of influence and power and impact -- that’s a loss," she told Buzzfeed. "It actually gives me a little bit of chills thinking about not having a potential person here, if, God forbid, we have another outbreak of, say HIV or AIDS or something like that."
As for President Obama's most recent round of appointments and nominations, he declared: "These fine public servants bring a depth of experience and tremendous dedication to their important roles. I know they will serve the American people well."