St. Olaf College | News

Alumna’s appointment to White House staff garners international attention

Raffi Freedman-GurspanSt. Olaf College alumna Raffi Freedman-Gurspan ’09 made international news this week as the first openly transgender staff member hired by the White House.

Freedman-Gurspan, a former policy adviser at the National Center for Transgender Equality, will serve as an outreach and recruitment director in the White House Office of Presidential Personnel.

Valerie Jarrett, a senior White House adviser, said in a statement that the hiring “demonstrates the kind of leadership this administration champions. … Her commitment to bettering the lives of transgender Americans, particularly transgender people of color and those in poverty, reflects the values of this administration.”

The news has been reported by National Public Radio, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Christian Science Monitor, Paris’ Le Monde, the Times of Israel, International Business Times, ABC News, and CNN, among others.