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Jessica Stern. Photo: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

President Biden announced on Friday that he would appoint Jessica Stern, executive director of OutRight Action International, as U.S. special envoy for LGBTQ rights at the State Department.

Why it matters: Stern currently serves as head of an organization that specializes on addressing human rights violations against the LGBTQ community. As U.S. envoy, she will focus on promoting and protecting the rights of LGBTQ people around the world.

  • Stern is the second person to be named to the role. The first, Randy Berry, served from 2015 until 2017, after which the position was left vacant by former President Trump, CNN reports.

The big picture: This is the Biden administration's latest effort to address LGBTQ rights, and comes in the final days of Pride Month.

  • Biden became the first president to issue a proclamation to formally celebrate Transgender Day of Visibility, and also appointed Pete Buttigieg as Transportation secretary, the first openly-gay person to be confirmed to a Cabinet position.
  • Biden promised during his campaign that he would appoint someone for the special envoy role, along with an official responsible for LGBTQ+ rights on the National Security Council and a special coordinator in charge of international LGBTQ+ programming at USAID. The latter two have yet to be named.

What they're saying: "At a time when the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons are increasingly threatened in all regions of the world, the Special Envoy will bring together like-minded governments, civil society organizations, corporations and international organizations to uphold  dignity and equality for all," the White House said in a statement.

Her background: While at OutRight, Stern supported the legal registration of LGBTQ organizations around the world. She also helped secure the mandate of the United Nations Independent Expert on sexual orientation and gender identity, and helped expand the UN General Assembly resolution to include gender identity, according to the White House.

What to watch: Stern will join Biden when he delivers remarks later on Friday to commemorate Pride Month.

Go deeper

A decade after "don't ask, don't tell," cadets see progress, room for growth

The Navy Color Guard presents the flags as the Corps of the Cadets takes the field prior to the Air Force vs. Navy game on Sept. 11, 2021, at Navy. Photo: Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

On the 10th anniversary of the end of "don't ask, don't tell," cadets say that campuses are more inclusive, but that more work needs to be done, AP reports.

The big picture: The "don't ask, don't tell" policy, which strictly prohibited gay people from serving openly, is no longer in effect, but homophobic comments still occasionally arise and many transgender students do not feel comfortable coming out, per AP.

Sep 27, 2021 - World

Afghanistan will not address UN General Assembly after dispute

Ghulam Isaczai. Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Afghanistan will not have anyone address the UN General Assembly on Monday, in a last-minute reversal following a dispute about which official — from either the Taliban or the ex-government — should be allowed to address the assembly, AP reports.

Driving the news: Afghanistan's UN seat was the subject of competing claims following the Taliban's takeover of the country.

Biden rejects Trump's latest executive privilege claims

Photo: Jim Watson and Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The White House on Monday rejected two more of former President Trump's claims of executive privilege over documents that the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot requested, CNN first reported.

Why it matters: Trump's legal team is seeking to block some of the panel's requests for records by invoking executive privilege, which can allow presidents and their aides to sidestep congressional scrutiny. The Biden administration has maintained that it will evaluate on a case-by-case basis.