Chantale Wong Makes History as First Openly Lesbian, Senate-Confirmed Ambassador

by Delphine Luneau

Ambassador Wong will serve as United States Director of the Asian Development Bank

WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — celebrated the landmark confirmation of Chantale Wong as United States Director of the Asian Development Bank. In an overwhelming and bipartisan confirmation vote by the U.S. Senate, Wong has become the first openly lesbian, Senate-confirmed ambassador in U.S. history. Human Rights Interim President Joni Madison issued the following statement to mark this momentous confirmation:

“Congratulations to Ambassador Chantale Wong on her historic confirmation. For too long, the ranks of ambassadors have failed to reflect the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community. Ambassador Wong’s confirmation is one step closer to achieving a future where all members of the LGBTQ+ community can see themselves reflected at the highest levels of government.

As an international development expert, Ambassador Wong is supremely qualified to represent the United States at the Asian Development Bank. Her background and accomplishments, including her personal commitment to reform, position her to lead by example. Ambassador Wong’s confirmation comes at a critical time for United States leadership as the institution conducts its once-in-a-decade review of operating policies that could bolster LGBTQ+ inclusion in its projects across the region.”

Ambassador Wong previously served as the Alternative United States Director of the Asian Development Bank and held a series of other senior roles across the government, including at the Millennium Challenge Corporation, NASA, Department of the Interior, Environmental Protection Agency, and the Office of Budget and Management. Deeply committed to public service, Ambassador Wong has mentored young Asian American Pacific Islander youth to seek careers in public service, including through the establishment of the Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership.

Ambassador Wong holds a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a Master in Environmental Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Hawaii in Civil and Structural Engineering.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

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