The Obama administration has announced the appointment of Amanda Simpson as a senior technical advisor to the US Department of Commerce, working in the Bureau of Industry and Security. Simpson, who has served on the National Center for Transgender Equality’s (NCTE) board of directors for the past three years, is the first transgendered presidential appointee to the federal government. Simpson brings considerable professional credentials to her new job. For 30 years, she has worked in the aerospace and defense industry, most recently serving as deputy director in advanced technology development at Raytheon Missile Systems, a Tucson, Ariz.-based developer of missile systems for US and allied forces, some of which employ infrared sensors and laser-guided seekers. While at Raytheon, Simpson, a former test pilot who had worked for the company for more than a generation, transitioned from male to female and was instrumental in convincing the military contractor to add gender identity and expression to its equal employment opportunity policy. She holds degrees in physics, engineering and business administration and has 20 years of experience as a certified flight instructor.